A Return to Truth

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” Voltaire

reading-the-news

Franciscan Action Network is dedicated to advocating a vision of truth and integrity  which we  believe is essential in  bringing about peace in the United States and throughout the world.  The growth of widespread false statements and deliberate lies, referred to as “fake news,” that are flooding social media have resulted in potentially violent actions that are alarming and must be stopped.

An armed 29 year old man drove six hours from North Carolina to a pizza shop in Washington based on what turned out to be a fake news story concerning child sex trafficking that had been circulating on the internet for almost a month. At least one shot was fired. Thankfully, no one  was injured or killed at the restaurant; however this incident has focused attention  on the potentially dangerous consequences of “fake news.” We may never know who originated this particular story. It is unlikely their intention was the shedding of innocent blood. However, this incident demonstrates that this could have been the reality.

Victims of lies and violence are not only people, but truth itself. The dissemination of falsehoods, feigning as news, mocks those who have lost their lives for our freedom of press. This falsehood vilifies and belittles those journalists who have died in their quest to bring us the news. Moreover, in this particular case, made up stories about child sex trafficking denigrates the true victims of this horrific crime.

We add our voices to others calling for a return to truth and to our better nature, to self-respect as human beings, and to mutual respect for the common good.  We call on social media sites, which are  the source of news for over sixty percent of the population to,  return to an ethical code of conduct of integrity and reliability.

Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity.

The Society declares four principles as the foundation of ethical journalism and encourages their use in its practice by all people in all media. These principles are; to seek truth and report it; to minimize harm; to act independently; to be accountable and transparent.

We call on all people  to shun fake news, for it grows only as much as we “like” it to flourish further and wider in our webs of communication. As followers of the nonviolent Jesus, we have no option but to feel uncomfortable when we face dishonesty, misinformation, and propaganda from a deliberately deceitful  media.  We recommit ourselves to the tenets of the Franciscan Commitment to Civility in Discourse.

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Published in: on December 21, 2016 at 1:56 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I have done this already. Thank you! judy


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