Last weekend [November 14, 2021], pope Francis gave my profession a gift: a thoughtful outsider’s perspective on the proper role of journalists.
By this, he meant far more than picking up a telephone or jumping onto Zoom. He meant “having the patience to meet face-to-face with the people to be interviewed, the protagonists of the stories being told, the sources from which to receive news,” because “certain nuances, sensations, and well-rounded descriptions can only be conveyed” if the journalist is present to see and hear. That means “escaping from the tyranny of always being online, on social networks, on the web,” he insisted, and taking time to be present, despite the difficulty. We need journalists, he said, who are willing to “wear out the soles of their shoes.”