The Pope told the Italian Periodical Press Union and the Italian Federation of Catholic Weeklies that dredging up old scandals too was one of the "sins of communication" that hurts all involved.
He welcomed the journalists saying they have: "a task, or rather a mission, among the most important in today's world: to inform correctly, to offer everyone a version of the facts conforming as closely as possible to reality".
Pope Francis described how the media must not fall into: "slander, which is sensationalistic, or defamation, looking for outdated and old things, and bringing them to light today; they are very grave sins, which damage the heart of the journalist and harm people."
He described journalism though as fundamental for the growth of any society that wishes to be called democratic but criticised the: "drive for sensationalism to the detriment of precision."
The Pope called for thoughtful reflection and said: "there is an urgent need for reliable information, with verified data and news, which does not aim to amaze and excite, but rather to make readers develop a healthy critical sense, enabling them to ask themselves appropriate questions and reach justified conclusions."