Pope Francis writing a document on fake news, 'journalism for peace'

Pope Francis writing a document on fake news, 'journalism for peace'

Pope Francis writing a document on fake news, 'journalism for peace'

Updated 30 September 2017, 5:30 AEST

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.

Pope Francis announced the news himself in a tweet to his nearly 40 million followers.

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 polarisation of opinions."

A distortion of facts, it said, can have "repercussions at the level of individual and collective behaviour."

Pope Francis said in an interview last year that media organisations 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.

Reuters