A note to GetReligion newcomers

I think GR contributors are using the word “ghost” way too often … despite the fact that it is Halloween season

Posted by Lucas Sayre at 5:24 pm on November 4, 2005

I know that Lucas was joking. However, he has a point. There may be readers out there who are new to this blog and do not know the origin of this “ghost” riff. For a flashback to the birth of GetReligion, click here.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • http://tjic.com/blog TJIC

    Interestingly enough, the (over)-use of the term “ghost” has been grating on me more and more, and today I resolved to fire off an email BEGGING you folks to drop it. We get the point. The religion angle is important, but isn’t covered in the MSM. Got it. Acknowledged. OK. Capisch.

    …but when you’ve come up with a clever phrase and (a) no one else picks it up; (b) you use it more and more and more, it loses whatever zing it might have had at first, and just becomes hackneyed and – yes – embarrassing.

  • tmatt


    Well, it is my phrase. The other guys rarely use it. So your beef is with me.

    Not all the stories we write about here are linked to this term. I will keep it, for now. I will try to be more careful and use it less — applying it only to stories in which a religion angle is totally or almost totally missing.

    I still like having a short term that the regular readers understand, a shorthand that rarely needs to be explained.

  • http://www.physicsgeekjesusfreak.blogspot.com Matthew M.

    tmatt – keep “ghost”. It works. I would agree that your use of “ghost” should be judicious, but I don’t care whether it has “caught on” in the wider world. Nor do I think your use of it is particularly hackneyed.

    The primary goal of this site is to explicitly discuss how the media covers religion. We do “get it”, but TJIC seems to be arguing that the mission of the site itself is overwrought, which may be affecting his view of your terminology.