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 isn’t necessarily a requirement for that beat anymore; meanwhile, newsroom budget cuts have decimated the ranks of the nation’s 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.
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