Pope urges foreign media to use power of press to seek truth

Pope Francis greets people during a meeting with the members of Italian Foreign Press Association at Clementine Hall at the Vatican. (Reuters)

Pope Francis has urged foreign correspondents to humbly use the power of the press to search for the truth and give voice to the voiceless, calling journalism an important tool to counter hatred and fake news.

In an audience Saturday with the Foreign Press Association in Rome, Francis also urged journalists to not fall prey to click-bait headlines and half-reported stories, saying errors can not only misrepresent the truth but damage entire communities.

While Francis meets with journalists regularly during his foreign trips, it was the first time a pope has received the Foreign Press Association since St John Paul II in 1988.

Francis said he and the Catholic Church at large appreciate the work of journalists "even when you touch a raw nerve, including within the ecclesial community."