What does it mean to be transgendered in India?

Is it possible to write intelligently about sex in the non-Western world for an American media audience? Or, is our culture so narcissistic, so incurious, so parochial that a newspaper would be wasting its time in attempting to explain the difference between our world view and their’s? A recent spate of articles in the American [Read More...]

About those evangelical whispers on same-sex marriage

As you would imagine, your GetReligionistas are never eager to critique the work of previous members of our team who have found their way back into the world of mainstream religion-news work. However, that professional courtesy doesn’t mean that we can’t point our readers toward stories by our former colleagues that we think everyone needs [Read More...]

Politics, sin and serious reporting in La. bayou country

As I’ve shared before, I spent a few years of my early childhood in West Monroe, La., where my dad attended the White’s Ferry Road School of Preaching. That now-defunct school was operated by the White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ, now known nationally as the home congregation of the Robertson family of “Duck Dynasty” [Read More...]

Sister Jane drama: Observer still trying to catch up on news

The Charlotte Observer tried to play catch-up this week on the Sister Jane controversy. But it succeeded only partly, and it continued journalistic errors typical of those found in recent articles on this subject. You may recall my own posts on April 2 and April 4 about the flap that started with the Observer’s‘s story [Read More...]

So who is Stephen Colbert really? Maybe ask a priest?

The Colbert ReportGet More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Indecision Political Humor,Video Archive A decade ago, when I started writing a Washington Journalism Center syllabus on the history and future of news, I wanted to include a full day of material focusing on some element of the whole “entertainment as news” trend. I wanted to argue that [Read More...]

About that ‘complex’ doctrine Catholic teachers must follow

Imagine this lede atop a national wire service story: CINCINNATI (AP) — Parochial teachers are so ignorant of basic Roman Catholic doctrine the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is giving them a cheat sheet on some of the things that can get them fired. That is, of course, not the spin that The Associated Press took. Here’s the [Read More...]

How not to cover a Bible Belt sex-education debate

Let’s assume that many if not most professionals in an elite newsroom in Southern California — The Los Angeles Times, perhaps — will be tempted to believe that they know more about sex than most parents and educators in the Bible Belt state of Mississippi. Safe assumption? My goal here is not to settle that [Read More...]

The obvious gap in that NYTimes report on sexual abuse

Almost a year ago, The New York Times launched a series of web-only video-and-text features called the Retro Report. The goal of these short documentaries is, apparently, to help readers by filling in the gaps on complex, ongoing stories. While these short features have been identified as “columns,” the content — at least to me [Read More...]


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