Anyone who’s been around the news for a while will notice that, from time to time, media outlets will “discover” something that’s been talked about, elsewhere, for quite some time. Nearly 20 years after the online world of AOL, Prodigy and CompuServe began to morph into the Internet as a place where people can find information about God, at last a metropolitan daily newspaper has learned that Christian folk are using Twitter to communicate with each other.
As a breathless newsreader might say on those grating “teaser” TV news breaks during commercials: “Details at 11!”
In this case, the apparently surprised outlet is The Deseret News in Salt Lake City. Owned by a business unit of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the DesNews, or DN, as it’s known locally, actually does a very good job of covering religion in general, and, as might be surmised, a good job of tackling LDS news. They don’t have the occasional edginess of the secularly owned Salt Lake Tribune when it comes to the Mormon beat, but the DN often pleasantly surprises with its Godbeat coverage. Indeed, I find their coverage of non-Mormon faith topics, in general, to be quite good.
Oddly enough, this article about “How social and digital media are changing #religion” isn’t all that bad, in my opinion. As journalism, the content is pretty good.
But, then there is the sense of gee-whizziness throughout the text:
Brian Hemsworth’s book club wasn’t anything to write home about.
The club — one of about 80 created and founded by Mosaic, a non-denominational Christian church in Pasadena, Calif. — didn’t offer much for the members, save for some discussion on the previous week’s service and the occasional get-together at a picnic or church function.
It was all standard and by-the-book.
That was, until Hemsworth and other group members flocked to Twitter and began dropping their hashtags and tweets. They snapped photos and sent them instantly via the new-age telegram.
Soon enough, what was once a weekly gathering transformed into an everyday discussion.
“People just began to connect,” Hemsworth said. “People are wanting to find ways of connecting and getting together. And social media is really helping that.”