Europe

Pope on fake news, 'alternative facts': Tell positive truth

  • Pope Francis celebrates a Mass at Santa Marta residence at the Vatican, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

    Pope Francis celebrates a Mass at Santa Marta residence at the Vatican, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis celebrates a Mass at Santa Marta residence at the Vatican, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

    Pope Francis celebrates a Mass at Santa Marta residence at the Vatican, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

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.