Pod people: Grading the grades on Supreme Court coverage

After two recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings, I tried a different approach to analyzing some of the major news coverage. I did what I dubbed “big news report cards” on coverage of the high court striking down a Massachusetts abortion buffer zone law — and on coverage of the court’s 5-4 decision in favor of [Read More...]

Surprise! Same-sex couples produce happier kids, media say

Ordinarily, quality journalism benefits from solid information, concrete evidence and a healthy dose of skepticism. But certainly, major news organizations can be forgiven when they err on the side of a higher ideal, right? In this week’s example, that higher ideal would be acceptance of same-sex parents. At this point in history, producing a baby [Read More...]

Babies and holy ghosts in Texas surrogate pregnancies story

Give the Austin American-Statesman credit for a couple of things. First, the Texas newspaper has the start of a potentially fantastic, enlightening trend piece: AUSTIN — A nurse spread gel on Nicole Benham’s pregnant belly and slowly moved a sonogram wand over it, describing the images on nearby monitors. This scene, in which parents get [Read More...]

Al Jazeera America: a solid piece of religion journalism?

Let’s see: a meaty, 3,200-word religion story — part profile, part trend piece. Quick, name the national news organizations producing such in-depth journalism on the Godbeat these days. Did Al Jazeera America make your list? That relatively new U.S. media organization spotlighted “Downwardly mobile for Jesus” over the weekend. The superb feature drew praise from [Read More...]

Big news report card: Hobby Lobby and contraceptives

One of the big misconceptions about the Hobby Lobby case (with apologies to Conestoga Wood Specialties) is that the Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts retailer refuses to pay for employees’ contraceptive coverage. Alas, the National Review notes: Hobby Lobby’s health care plan … includes access, copay-free, to the following categories of FDA-approved birth-control: Male condoms Female condoms Diaphragms with [Read More...]

ESPN features pastor who loves umpires, hates baseball

Pastor Dean Esskew is provides a religious outlet for professional baseball umpires. https://t.co/oiO8b47dnO pic.twitter.com/uUEAZ2kadR — [ MLB News ] (@InsideBaseball_) June 21, 2014 In case you hadn’t figured it out — examples here, here and here — baseball ranks as a holy subject at GetReligion. Sadly, my beloved Texas Rangers are enduring a forgettable season, much [Read More...]

NYTimes revisits high court’s abortion buffer zone ruling

In grading first-day coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court striking down a Massachusetts abortion buffer zone law, I gave The New York Times a D. My explanation for the near-failing grade: The NYTimes’ front-page story does an excellent job of explaining where the justices came down. But the Old Gray Lady shows her bias when it comes to reporting reactions [Read More...]

Big news report card: Grading abortion buffer zone coverage

___________________________________ ___________________________________ As my GetReligion colleague Jim Davis highlighted this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a Massachusetts abortion buffer zone law. News junkie that I am, I enjoyed perusing today’s front pages and searching Google News to see how various news organizations handled the story. Using my media critic’s prerogative, I decided [Read More...]


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