Pope calls on media to promote ethics

Roman Catholic head Pope Benedict XVI has urged the international media to use its position to "promote the dignity of human beings".

He acknowledged the media's power in influencing ethical issues, and called on the industry to ensure it did not promote vulgarity and violence to legitimise "distorted models of life".

The Pope called for an establishment of "info-ethics", which should take a central role just as bio-ethics is a major consideration in medical and biological research areas.

Pope Benedict rebuked the media industry for often using vulgarity and violence, but also praised it for helping to spread democracy and promote dialogue.

Reports have stated that the Vatican has frequently pointed the finger at the media for its lack of morals in promoting consumerism and "unethical lifestyles", such as pre-marital sex and homosexuality.

|QUOTE|The Roman Catholic head issued a three-page document saying, "When communication loses its ethical underpinning and eludes society's control, it ends up no longer taking into account the centrality and inviolable dignity of the human being.

"While claiming to represent reality, it can tend to legitimise or impose distorted models of personal, family or social life."

His message, which is for the Catholic Church's World Communications Day on 4 May, added: "Moreover, in order to attract listeners and increase the size of audiences, it does not hesitate at times to have recourse to vulgarity and violence, and to overstep the mark."