Your GetReligion Christmas news bundle (turn, turn, turn)

As you would expect, your GetReligionistas do our fair share of traveling and celebrating during the Christmas season — which often takes us into wintry territory in which wifi sources are few and far between. How am I going to download the Doctor Who Christmas episode?

Anyway, we will be posting less often than formal during the 12-day Christmas season.

This is our normal pattern over the past decade. We don’t completely close down, but we tend to post once or twice a day instead of our usual three times a day. Please keep sending us interesting religion-beat stories that you see in the mainstream press and we will strive to keep up on what’s happening in our email and at the major newsrooms.

However, we also have a piece of news that we need to announce before it is common social-media knowledge.

In recent years, we have posted a depressing number of black-flag (“Turn, turn, turn”) notes announcing that this or that veteran religion-beat professional has had to leave a job in a major newsroom. However, in this case we need to note that a veteran journalist has LANDED a rare opening on the religion (or in this case faith-related) beat.

This time around, the problem for your GetReligionistas is that the journalist in question is our own Mark Kellner, who only arrive a few weeks ago (or months, maybe).

From his Facebook page:

I am pleased to announce that in February 2014, I will join the staff of The Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Utah, as a national reporter, and relocating there. After 11 years of service at the world headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and 23 years of contributing to The Washington Times, I am excited about this new venture, while I am grateful to both the General Conference and The Washington Times for the opportunities I’ve had, the work accomplished and — most important — the friendships made. More later!

I private correspondence, Mark has noted that he is particularly exciting that his job is defined as a national-level beat on the wider implications of faith in daily and public life, as opposed to a more local focus on institutional news in the Church of Latter-day Saints and other religious bodies.

Mark will keep posting here at GetReligion until he is all packed up and on the move. Then he will say his farewells.

At that point — about the time that GetReligion celebrates its 10th anniversary, on Feb. 2 — we will try to introduce another GetReligionista or maybe two. Yes, we have invited SCORES of logical people, but we always welcome private emails with suggestions.

As a bonus, let me pass along a bit of newsy holiday cheer (care of The Divine Mrs. M.Z. Hemingway). I know I have seen humor pieces similar to this one, but I cannot find the URLs right now. Anyone out there have any to share?

Taken from New York Magazine.

How the Media Would Have Covered the Birth of Jesus

Tomorrow, billions of people across the world will commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ 2000-ish years ago. The arrival of the messiah would have been a huge media event at the time had there actually been any media aside from the guy who announced the king’s royal proclamations from a balcony. Consequently, we are forced to make educated guesses about how today’s media would have covered the story, if it were around back then.

And a blessed Feast of the Nativity to one and all, for those who mark this holy season. Christmas is now here, as opposed to being completed. Some of us have partying to do.

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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.

  • Julia B

    Yes, the Christmas season begins on Christmas Day. Thank you for being such an interesting site. I find myself often quoting things I read here.


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