Media Blog

B16 vs. the Media

Times Online:

Pope Benedict XVI today said the media were too often used irresponsibly to spread “violence and vulgarity” and impose “distorted models” of social and family life. He urged the world’s communicators instead to adopt what he called “info-ethics”.
In a message for the Roman Catholic Church’s World Communications Day, Pope Benedict said the media often sought to create reality rather than report it, with agendas dictated by “the dominant interests” of the day. “This is what happens when communication is used for ideological purposes or for the aggressive advertising of consumer products. When communication loses its ethical underpinning and eludes society’s control, it ends up no longer taking into account the centrality and inviolable dignity of the human person” he said.
He added “For this reason it is essential that social communications should assiduously defend the person and fully respect human dignity. Many people now think there is a need, in this sphere, for ‘info-ethics’, just as we have bioethics in the field of medicine and in scientific research linked to life.” He said the media “in order to attract listeners and increase the size of audiences, do not hesitate at times to have recourse to vulgarity and violence and overstep the mark”.
He praised new media such as the internet, which were “changing the very face of communications”, but said they were often misused. A new “info-ethics” would help to prevent the media from becoming “spokesmen for economic materialism and ethical relativism, the true scourges of our time”, and from being “exploited for indiscriminate self-promotion or ending up in the hands of those who use them to manipulate consciences.”

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