The second storytelling rule: Get the name of the church

The first storytelling rule: Get the name of the dog. So says Poynter Institute writing guru Roy Peter Clark. For the purposes of GetReligion, I’ll add a second rule: Get the name of the church. I found myself frustrated with the generic churches featured in a Wall Street Journal story on South Africa’s national day [Read More...]

CNN puts religious liberty in scare quotes, but corrects it

It was one of the most famous First Amendment cases in American history. As the American Civil Liberties Union website notes: One of the most noted moments in the ACLU’s history occurred in 1978 when the ACLU defended a Nazi group that wanted to march through the Chicago suburb of Skokie, Illinois where many Holocaust [Read More...]

CNN goes long to say little about clergy and Obamacare

In Ecclesiastes 12:12b, we read: “Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” Alas, the same might be said for this story from CNN’s Belief Blog, which spends an eye-popping 2,746 words to tell us something truly astonishing: some Protestant pastors don’t want to talk about aspects of the [Read More...]

Pod people: Religion and mass shootings

The Crossroads podcast this week was devoted to discussion of covering shootings. And in the time since the horrible shooting in Washington, D.C., took place, we now have reports of another horrific mass shooting in Kenya. There is some amazing journalism being done as this massacre unfolds. I’d recommend reading this New York Times interview [Read More...]

Toasting the Godbeat

Last night the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty honored Eric Marrapodi, manager of CNN’s Belief Blog, with its first Vine & Fig Tree Journalist Award. I had the pleasure of attending and had an absolutely fantastic time and enjoyed meeting or seeing again many folks on the Godbeat. I hadn’t really thought about what the [Read More...]

What is the X-factor in Syrian bloodshed? DUH! (updated)

It seems that many networkers in the online world remain fired up about that recent Washington Post explainer that ran under the headline “9 questions about Egypt you were too embarrassed to ask.” That’s the one you may recall, in part because of this GetReligion post, that was the first of many similar mainstream media [Read More...]

Jake Tapper on opinion journalism masquerading as news

I’m a longtime fan of Jake Tapper of CNN, and formerly of ABC News. I like that he asks tough but reasonable questions of politicians, regardless of which party they’re in. I like that he reports and presents the news without his opinion. I like that he’s not defensive when someone critiques his work. Defensiveness [Read More...]

Hurrah: Learning more about Antoinette Tuff’s religion

The other day I was reading an obituary of Tom Christian, descendent of the Bounty mutineer. It was in the New York Times and written by my very favorite obituary writer, Margalit Fox. So, right up top the obit included this line: Mr. Christian, who for his services to Pitcairn was named a Member of [Read More...]


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