May I have your attention please. According to the software we use around here, this is the 2,000th post in the nearly three years since Doug LeBlanc and I opened the cyber-doors here at GetReligion.
Actually, there have been a few posts that one of us started and never finished and it’s hard to know how those numbers figure into the count. And, back in the TypePad days, we had a little feature on the sidebar called “Short Takes” and all of those posts vanished when we went to WordPress. So who knows how many posts we have actually written.
However, this is the 2,000th post stored on the site, so I thought I’d mention this little landmark.
That’s a lot of writing and it’s been fun, interesting (at least for us) and, at times, a little frustrating. The busy journalists involved in this site wish that we could do much more than we do. And we are always trying to make improvements and we hope to make a few more around Feb. 1, our third birthday. We’re working with the folks at Pierpoint Design to try to freshen up our front page.
Also, we are going to create a semi-regular feature for the blog that we will call 5Q+1. The whole idea is that one of us will call up a journalist — either a Godbeat specialist or someone whose mainstream work frequently involves religious issues — and ask them a set of five standard questions.
Some of the people we call — or email — will be folks that we already know read GetReligion. But sometimes we’ll call people that we hope read the blog or might be willing to look it over and then talk to us. We hope that, once we get started with this, readers will suggest people for us to feature.
So what should we ask them? The Rt. Rev. LeBlanc and I had a chance to meet for lunch last week on Capitol Hill and here’s our rough draft of five basic questions.
(1) Where do you like to get your news about religion?
(2) What do you think is the most important religion story right now that you think the mainstream media just don’t get?
(3) What is the story that you’ll be watching carefully in the next year or two?
(4) Why is it important to understand the role of religion in our world today?
(5) What’s the funniest, most ironic twist that you’ve seen in a religion news story lately?
And the +1 element of the list is an opportunity for each journalist to say something to us, with a kind of “What’s going on?” wildcard question.
(6) Is there anything else that you’d like to say about religion and the news?
So there we go. Any suggestions for who we ought to talk to first? I already have a candidate, of course, and I’m trying to reach this journalist at the moment.
But what suggestions do you have for the wording on these questions? Does anyone have a totally different question you want to suggest? It goes without saying that the Divine Mrs. MZ and young master Daniel will have plenty of input, and so will the head hauncho at the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life, the Rev. Dr. Editor Arne Fjeldstad.
So what do you think?