Pope on fake news, ‘alternative facts’: Tell positive truth

Pope Francis passes in front a portrait of Mother Teresa as he is driven through the crowd at the end of a canonization ceremony in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. Francis declared Mother Teresa a saint on Sunday, praising the tiny nun for having taken in society's most unwanted and for having shamed world leaders for the "crimes of poverty they themselves created." (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — At a time of fake news and “alternative facts,” Pope Francis is asking the media to not only tell the truth, but to report good news.

In his message for the Catholic church’s annual communications day, Francis urged journalists on Tuesday to tell positive stories that bring hope and not to focus so much on bad news and scandal.

He stressed he wasn’t asking the journalists to “ignore the tragedy of human suffering” or naively turn a blind eye to evil. But he said a constant negative drumbeat can lead to apathy and resignation.

Francis had tense relations with the press in his native Argentina and has been an outspoken media critic.

He also has used the media to get his message out, particularly via Catholic and Italian outlets.

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