How does that HHS mandate ruling affect American religion?

THE RELIGION GUY EXPLAINS: So far, no-one has yet posted a question on the June 30 U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing certain religious exemptions from the Obama Administration’s birth control mandate. So The Guy is posting his own analysis of an important case that highlights the nation’s religious, moral, legal, and political divisions. The case [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...]

WPost writer wears too many hats at men’s conference

Remember Dr. Seuss’ story, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins? Whenever Bartholomew took off one hat, another appeared beneath it. Well, the fictional Cubbins has nothing on the real-life Monica Hesse. She covered the two-day International Conference on Men’s Issues near Detroit for the Washington Post. And in her writeup, she constantly switched hats: sometimes [Read More...]

And the Baltimore Hobby Lobby angle is … the Little Sisters

All news is local. That’s one of the first laws that journalists quote whenever we try to explain what is and what isn’t news to those outside the profession. In other words, when editors rank stories — deciding what goes on A1, for example — one of the main factors that they take into account [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...]

Hobby Lobby in narrow win; Little Sisters of the Poor on deck

So why are the Little Sisters of the Poor at the top of this post as the tsunami of Hobby Lobby coverage continues? Hang on. So far, the mainstream press coverage of today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision (.pdf here) has been rather good. In particular, there has been a shockingly low rate of scare quotes [Read More...]

Roadmaps should guide us, including through Sudan

Sudan may be hard for geography-challenged Americans to find on a map, but Reuters — one of the largest news organizations — is an old hand at world coverage. Unfortunately, Reuters presents more of a puzzle than a map in its update on the case of Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, who has been desperately trying to [Read More...]


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