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Carl M. Cannon: The problem with the press, part 1: religion

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Published: Monday, April 15 2013 10:15 a.m. MDT

In this photo made available by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis delivers his speech as he meets the Cardinals for the first time after his election, at the Vatican, Friday, March 15, 2013.

, AP

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According to Washington Editor of RealClearPolitics, Carl M. Cannon, coverage of religion in the mainstream media -- and of the faith-tinged issue of abortion -- has revealed that our journalism model is broken.

Despite the presence of the occasional pious Catholic, observant Jew, or devout Protestant, American newsrooms have long been highly secular places. This is as it should be for a mass circulation audience in a pluralistic society. But political and cultural polarization in the past generation has exacerbated the great spiritual divide between journalists and those we cover.

He noted that in the past the people covering religion knew what they were talking about, and they exerted a leavening influence inside their newsrooms. But Biblical literacy isnt necessarily a requirement for that beat anymore; meanwhile, newsroom budget cuts have decimated the ranks of the nations religion writers.

The upshot during Holy Week this year was a spate of news reports so inaccurate and off-key that they comprised a kind of impromptu Gong Show. Cannon also referenced several media organizations who made misrepresentations about Christians and Easter Sunday, bringing the media under more scrutiny.

Read more about The Problem With the Press, Part 1: Religion on RealClearPolitics.

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