The pope is writing a document on fake news — and that’s the truth

Pope Francis and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, archbishop of Manila, center, greet a group of migrants, during his weekly general audience, at the Vatican, on Sept. 27, 2017. Pope Francis on Wednesday launched a two-year activism and awareness-raising campaign about the plight of migrants to counteract mounting anti-immigrant sentiment in the US, Europe and beyond. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool via AP)
Updated 29 September 2017
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The pope is writing a document on fake news — and that’s the truth

VATICAN CITY: If you ever wondered how to say “fake news” in Latin, it’s “nuntii fallaces” — and Pope Francis is writing a document on just that.
Francis announced it himself in a tweet to his nearly 40 million followers on Friday, saying the theme of his message for the Roman Catholic Church’s next World Day of Social Communications will be “The truth will set you free. Fake news and journalism for peace.”
In Latin, one of the nine languages the pope uses to tweet, that would be “Veritas liberavit vos. Nuntii fallaces et diurniariorum opus ad pacem.”
A Vatican statement said the issue was important enough for the pope to address because “fake news contributes to generating and nurturing a strong polarization of opinions.”
A distortion of facts, it said, can have “repercussions at the level of individual and collective behavior.”
Francis said in an interview last year that media that focus on scandals and spread fake news to smear politicians risk becoming like people who have a morbid fascination with excrement.
The Vatican statement said the leader of the 1.2 billion member Church wanted to offer “a reflection on the causes, the logic and the consequences of disinformation in the media, and helping to promote professional journalism, which always seeks the truth.”
The Church’s World Day of Social Communications is celebrated on January 24, feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron of journalists.
The message is usually released several weeks before. (Reporting By Philip Pullella)


Times newspaper corrects ‘distorted’ coverage of Muslim foster carers

Updated 26 April 2018
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Times newspaper corrects ‘distorted’ coverage of Muslim foster carers

  • Coverage by The Times said the girl had been forced to live with a “niqab-wearing foster carer”
  • The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) wants The Timesto apologize #for promoting a widely known to be an inaccurate, misleading and bigoted narrative about Muslims

LONDON: The Times newspaper has been ordered to correct a front-page story titled “Christian child forced into Muslim foster care,” after a ruling from the UK’s independent press regulator. 

The story, published Aug. 30, 2017, was one of three front-page articles published by the paper that month about a five-year-old Christian girl who was placed with Muslim foster carers in March 2017.

Coverage by The Times said the girl had been forced to live with a “niqab-wearing foster carer” and had been “sobbing and begging” not to be sent back because the carers did not speak English, an allegation that has since proved to be false.

The paper also claimed the carers removed the girl’s crucifix necklace, prevented her from eating bacon and encouraged her to learn Arabic. 

The Independent Press Standards Organization (IPSO) said that The Times’s coverage was “distorted,” after an investigation found the allegations to be unsubstantiated. The investigation was carried out by Tower Hamlets, the local council that had taken the child into care.

Wednesday’s edition of the paper mentioned the ruling on the front page and carried full details on page 2 and online.

3, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), said: “The Times should be forced to apologize for promoting what was widely known to be an inaccurate, misleading and bigoted narrative about Muslims. 

The story aided the hate-filled agenda of far-right extremists such as Britain First and the English Defense League.

“We hope that this front-page note will mark a turning point in the tolerance The Times has shown for anti-Muslim bigotry in its coverage and commentary.”

Miqdaad Versi, who heads the MCB’s work on media representation of Muslims, said: “While IPSO’s ruling on this shameful incidence of anti-Muslim reporting is welcome, their response thus far has been too little, too late.

“There needs to be a fundamental review to ensure this never happens again.”