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Pope Francis receives journalists from Italian RAI television's local news channel Pope Francis receives journalists from Italian RAI television's local news channel  

Pope to TV journalists: Local news no less important than national news

Pope Francis addresses journalists and technical staff from Italian RAI Television’s local news channel to mark 40 years of its activity. Regional information, he tells them, communicates “the voice of the people”.

By Vatican News

Pope Francis overturned a frequent cliché in the world of journalism when he told local Italian television journalists, producers and technical staff, during an audience in the Vatican, that “local news is no less important than national news”.

The importance of local news

Local news and information, said the Pope, is actually more genuine and authentic because it communicates “the voice of the people”, in all aspects of peoples’ social, cultural and spiritual life.

Local information gives space to local realities and cultures, he said, to news that would not be broadcast otherwise. More than ever, said the Pope, we need news to be communicated completely and thoughtfully, “so as to encourage reflection”.

Different kinds of globalization

Pope Francis explained the difference between what he called “harmful globalization and good globalization”. The latter “unites us, and can help us to be members of one another”, he said. Harmful globalization, on the other hand, ”makes everyone the same, rather than valuing diversities, cultures, histories and traditions”.

The sphere and the polyhedron

Here the Pope returned to the image of the sphere and the polyhedron: “in the sphere everything is equal, uniform, each point is equidistant from the centre, there are no differences”, he explained. In the polyhedron “there is coherence but there is also diversity, a variety of positions”.

The importance of regional information

The polyhedron, said the Pope, best reflects the nature and variety of regional news. “Regional information comes from the territory with a very precise mission, which is expressed in two directions”, continued Pope Francis. “The first is to immerse itself in the everyday, in local reality, made up of people, events, projects, problems and hopes”.

The second, he said, is to transmit that reality to a wider audience. It also means giving “voice to poverty, challenges, and local emergencies”, as well as to “testimonies of faith”.

Telling the stories

Pope Francis concluded by encouraging television journalists and staff to continue telling the stories, and making known “those authentic realities that are still found in many corners of Italy: realities that do not give in to indifference, that do not remain silent in the face of injustice, that do not follow fashions. There is a “submerged ocean of goodness”, said the Pope, “that deserves to be known”.

16 September 2019, 12:31