03/09/2007, 00.00
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Growth of new media is good but their impact can be destructive, says Pope

Benedict XVI calls on those who manage radio, TV and internet to pay attention to the common good and defend the family. Particular care should be given to how younger generations are educated.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The growth in new media, especially electronic media like radio, TV and internet, is happening against the backdrop of their increasing concentration in the hands of a few multinational corporations. For this reason, the Pope has called for special care be given to education to “safeguard the common good, uphold the truth, protect individual human dignity and promote respect for the needs of the family” because the media’s influence can be “destructive.”

Speaking to the participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Pontiff’s message was directed at those who control the new means of social communication.

In his address he said that “the various components of the mass media” have been of “great benefit to civilisation.” Internet too “has opened up a world of knowledge and learning that previously for many could only be accessed with difficulty, if at all. Such contributions to the common good must be applauded and encouraged.”

However, “it is also readily apparent that much of what is transmitted in various forms to the homes of millions of families around the world is destructive.”

In referring to his message for World Communications Day, dedicated this year to the relationship between media and young people, Benedict XVI said that in such a situation the “responsibility to introduce and educate children and young people into the ways of beauty, truth and goodness is a grave one. It can be supported by media conglomerates only to the extent that they promote fundamental human dignity, the true value of marriage and family life, and the positive achievements and goals of humanity.”

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