Catholic journalists from countries around Asia gathered in Kuala Lumpur recently to talk about strategies to fight the spread of “fake news” especially on social media.
The meeting was convened by the World Catholic Association for Communication with the theme “Communicating Trust and Hope in our Time.”
The discussions highlighted what the group perceived as the spread of hoaxes and fake news across digital platforms that mislead consumers of news and media content.
In his address, Archbishop Julian Leow Beng Kim of Kuala Lumpur challenged journalists to be honest in their reporting.
“I know it’s difficult to be a journalist,” said the archbishop. “It’s an oxymoron sometimes to be an honest politician or to be a journalist that writes the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” he added.
The prelate, however, urged members of the media “to be the message … through your lifestyle, your values, the person that you are.”
“The decision is yours to be a person of integrity and believe if you are honest,” he added.
“Are you a Catholic who happens to be a journalist? Or are you a journalist who happens to be a Catholic?” said Archbishop Kim.