I can think of many things that are worrisome about the state of journalism, but I hadn’t yet considered the dwindling number of full-time religion correspondents to be among them. Maybe I’m wrong.
Conor Gaffey (below), writing a familiar plaint for the U.K.’s Catholic Herald, sounds the alarm, after noting that the BBC will be reassigning its head of religion, Aaqil Ahmed, and that religious-affairs writer Ruth Gledhill left the Times last year.
Gledhill herself thought it was a good thing that “religion had been taken out of the sanctuary and into the arena of general current affairs,” as Gaffey puts it, but he has his doubts.
Many papers have columnists on religion (Giles Fraser at the Guardian, for example) or journalists who cover faith among other things (eg, the Telegraph’s John Bingham). But this media landscape suggests that religion does not command anywhere near the same weight of attention and investment as sport, politics or even showbiz.
This is a worrying trend — and not just because I’m a newly qualified journalist with a theology degree in need of full-time employment.