It didn’t take long, after the Rt. Rev. Douglas Leblanc and I started GetReligion.org back in 2004, for people to start suggesting that this weblog needed to hook up with a larger website or online institution that was about religion or journalism or, hopefully, both.
Early on, it seemed that a massive religion portal — think fishing for beliefs — was going to be able to produce a serious, broad blend of multi-faith news and commentary. We talked. There wasn’t enough news in the mix, for me.
We have talked to people who wanted to mix religion, news and popular culture. We have talked to a few academic institutions about links to The Media Project and, of course, GetReligion.
The key to all of these talks is this: GetReligion really, really, really is not a “religion” site and it also isn’t a “religion news” site.
Honest. We are a journalism site dedicated to looking at the good and the bad in mainstream news media attempts to produce balanced, accurate, informed news about the world of religion. We think (click here for the Day 1 essay) that it’s impossible for journalists to make sense of real news in the real world without taking religion seriously.
In other words, we think religion deserves a chair at the table of serious news coverage. We’ve been making that case for nearly 7,500 posts and millions of words. We are not going to stop chasing those religion-news “ghosts.”
However, GetReligion has moved. Finally.
In the future, GetReligion.org will still get you to the weblog, but if you want to bookmark the most direct cyber-route, here’s the URL that you need:
The Patheos crew is into it all.
Now, if you know anything about Patheos (“Hosting the conversation on faith”), you know that this sprawling parallel universe is organized around a wide variety of channels dedicated to various world religions and approaches to belief and, well, to unbelief. Inside these digital doors there are legions of bloggers and commentators on the left, on the right, in the center and in lots of other places that cannot be labeled. Patheos is as well known as the home of The Friendly Atheist as The Optimistic Christian. You can find The Wild Hunt there, a few navigation turns away from The Anchoress.
Well, the reason we have signed up with Patheos is that its leaders have committed to creating what will be a sprawling new channel dedicated to news, politics and culture. Some of the folks who have already set up shop there are Greg Kandra (former CBS News producer) at The Deacon’s Bench, former GetReligion scribe Jeremy Lott of Real Clear Religion, the Muslimah Media Watch, the Public Religion Research Institute’s Faith in the Numbers blog, Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review Online and others.
There will be plenty more. There are many different angles, when it comes to discussing the intersection of religion and the news. Bring ‘em on. Patheos is big enough for activists, journalists, scholars, commentators, clergy, politicians and lots of other folks who are interested in the world of religion.
This move will leave all of our existing features intact and our massive, massive archives will come with us (as will the Tmatt.net archives, pretty soon). The look will change, as we move into a narrower column width in a space surrounded by a few advertisements. (Yes, I am not a fan of pop-up ads. However, I have been told that, when that first pop-up ad appears, you can click it and then the pop-ups will vanish for the rest of your session or your return visits to the site that day. One ad per day, per person, in other words. Friends, we live in a fallen world and ads keep websites open and growing.)
We’ll have to change the ways we handle art. We will try harder to avoid long, long posts (wink, wink) in such a narrow space. But we will keep doing the same work.
So mark the new URL. The change will take place in stages over the next few days and, as always, I expect a few bumps, dead links, wayward YouTube videos and other signs that we are getting used to our new home. Please be patient. This post should be the last one at GetReligion.org proper. In a day or two, that URL will point toward the new address at Patheos.
We’re not going away. We’re simply moving into a complex, exciting and growing neighborhood. Look around. Explore. Keep coming back.