Pope: Media mustn't oversimplify complex issues

Pope Benedict XVI called Tuesday for the media to exercise responsibility in promoting the truth, and cautioned against oversimplifying complex cultural practices and religious beliefs. Benedict issued the call in an annual message to mark the Roman Catholic Church's World Day for Social Communications. The pope said technological advances in the media had made communication between people far away "instantaneous and direct." But he said such immediacy "does not necessarily translate into the building of cooperation and communion in society." He said the media should be responsible in promoting truth and peace, and said that ambiguity can often creep into the media's work. Such ambiguity often occurs when the media industry becomes "self-serving or solely profit-driven, losing the sense of accountability to the common good," he said.