WHEN MONEY SPEAKS, THE TRUTH KEEPS SILENT
LIDIA DUDKIEWICZ, THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF ‘NIEDZIELA’
The Day of Journalists’ Patron – St. Francis Salezy is coming, whose liturgical reminiscence is celebrated on 24 January. Every day, on this day, the World Day of Mass Media, which is celebrated in Poland on the third Sunday of September, the Holy Father addresses his everyday message to creators and recipients of media. For the year 2017 Francis suggested people of media the topic: ‘Do not be afraid, as I am with you’ (Is 43.5). We communicate hope and trustfulness to others in our times’. We do not doubt that we have times of great challenges for catholic media. It is related to an invasion of materialistic style of life and an avalanche of very difficult problems into which the world got entangled. In addition, most media serve to particular political, ideological and economic interests. Secular newspapers, TV and radio stations, as well as information agencies for whom the criteria of the truth and objectivism are hardly important, as they are following the criteria of the market or ideological strategy. A lot of groups respect such information which is the best-seller to people rushing after material matters of this world.
In this context catholic media are to remind us that we live in the God’s world. They are trying to bring hope and trustfulness into the quite complicated and dangerous everyday life, communicating us a message of pope Francis addressed to people of media. And, first of all, catholic media communicate us the truth and guard the values. We cannot let banks become churches of the world or rich laic media govern in all spheres of life. It is known that when money speaks, the truth keeps silent. Reliable journalists must hurry up to communicate people the truth because a lie and bad news get to recipients the quickest.
Whereas positive information, including the religious one, often bounce back from the wall of indifference. Once there was an anecdote saying how God is wondering what to do to be noticed by people rushing on the highways of the changing world. And He comes to the conclusion that in order to be noticed by the man, He must buy an advertisement in a newspaper. We are aware that media can bring the good and the evil. Like the journalists who create them. Among them there are seekers of the truth but there are also reporters hunting any kind of a sensation, being aggressive, ruthless, ready to destroy another man, writing their own texts which often contradict with the truth in gossip magazines, tabloids.
We should let St. Francis Salezy speak. In ‘Filotei’ he wrote: ‘The soul of our neighbor is a tree of good and bad news; you have been forbidden to touch it or express opinion on it under hard punishment – as the judgment of it belongs to God’. More such thoughts leading to the ideal of Christian life in a journalistic way can be found in the current issue of ‘Sunday’. And I will end with encouragement to read and use catholic media. Greek wisdom says that a house without books is a house without windows. One can say that a house without newspapers is a house without windows, or maybe also without door….