"There used to be an old saying that the truth will win out. That is something that we based our societies on, our journalism on: over time, what is true will carry more weight than what is false," Bush continued. "That's being tested now."
"We live in an age when there is so much false information, at such a volume, that it can be hard to sort out what is true," he said. "We have a responsibility as consumers to verify what is true, and when we understand what is true, to share it with our fellow parishioners."
He advised readers to find trusted sources of information within their community, whether in their church community or in the local newspaper, and to rely on those.
"This is a really difficult conversation in our society: whether people will trust the so-called traditional media or mainstream media," Bush said. "A great deal of effort has been put into sowing distrust in those organizations."
"Know from where your news comes. That's very important."
Both the fundamentals of Catholic teaching and of journalism and communication have shared priorities: "we seek truth, and we also verify truth," said Bush.
"That has to be a priority when we go and we communicate. It's a responsibility to communicate truthfully, to make sure the information we're disseminating is truthful, it's verified, that it's critically appraised, before we start disseminating it," he said.
"Otherwise we just become part of the problem."
For Bush, it is hard to say whether the new video technology will fundamentally change the media environment or simply continue current trends.
People have become more savvy about relatively new technological hoaxes, such as scam emails promising money from a Nigerian prince, he noted.
"Nobody believes that kind of stuff anymore. So we do adapt," Bush said. "At the same time, as these things become more sophisticated, particularly if they're used by state actors or groups with a high level of understanding of what it takes to manipulate a society or a group, then we'll see whether we can parse what's real or not real."
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