The anti-Borg here at GetReligion does not go out of its way to comment on op-ed page columns, unless they are directly related to how the press is covering a particular news story.
In this case, Washington and Lee University scholar Edward Wasserman has jumped right on top of this blog’s Ground Zero with a Miami Herald column about why religion news is so controversial. He thinks all kinds of thoughts about this, some of them — in my opinion — quite muddled and some of them right on the money.
However, there is no doubt about what makes him mad:
. . . Steven Roberts, a 25-year New York Times veteran, said, “I could probably count on one hand in the Washington bureau of The New York Times people who would describe themselves as people of faith.”
So the connection was drawn: The media neglect religion because journalists themselves are impious.
No, no, no, no. Both sides of that debate are being too simplistic.
Wasserman later says the key is that journalists who cover religion have to respect the beat and try to get their facts straight. GetReligion will continue to say “Amen!” to that sentiment, as often as we can. But as I noted in a lecture at the Poynter Institute, that does not mean the gap between newsrooms and pews is meaningless.