"Pope Francis, in his 2018 message, rightly condemns that 'spreading fake news can serve to advance specific goals, influence political decisions, and serve economic interests,'...But, the challenges facing journalism and the public at large today go deeper than the 'fake news' phenomenon," he said.
Rather, the real crux of the matter is growing general distrust of media, as well as a loss of trust in data, analysis, and objective facts, he said.
Because of this, those who work in social communications must be offered ongoing formation, both spiritual and professional, so that both individual journalists and media outlets "become more trusted by the public, and are seen as objective and reliable."
Quoting Pope Francis' message for the World Day of Social Communications, Warsaw said the most "radical antidote" to the phenomenon of fake news is "purification by the truth."
"As Catholic communicators and media, we are called to do our part to be truth tellers," he said, and "we must take heart in knowing that we are not the first Catholics to live in a 'post truth' era."
In his comments to CNA, Archbishop Martin stressed the importance of fostering an environment where true and honest dialogue can take place, and where media can help "engage in a culture of encounter."
"We meet people where they are at, some of whom are completely against what we stand for, others who are open to conversation," he said, explaining that when things get heated, "pacifying" one's tone is a good place to start in terms of having a fruitful exchange.
"I think this conference has courageously opened up a sort of middle-ground where we can engage in a type of court of the gentiles, where we enter that space in which there are some people who are diametrically opposed to what we stand for."
And this, the archbishop said, can only happen "out of respect, and it can only happen when there is a culture of freedom to speak."
For those involved in communication, "we can only hope that with the help of the Holy Spirit and by the grace of God, that we can invite people, that we can win them for Christ, by our witness, by our example, and by the strength and courage of our message."
Elise Harris was senior Rome correspondent for CNA from 2012 to 2018.