10 years of GetReligion: Five things they didn’t tell me

Nearly four years and 500 posts ago, I became the newest GetReligionista.

Now, somehow, I’m the second-longest-tenured regular contributor after the illustrious Terry Mattingly himself.

As we celebrate GetReligion’s 10th anniversary, our esteemed editor tmatt has reflected on “why we are still here” — Part 1 and Part 2 — and talked about “Labels, labels, labels, labels!” He’s even recorded a podcastGeorge Conger and my bride Tamie Ross have shared additional insight.

Now it’s my turn.

I can’t remember exactly when I started reading GetReligion or how I came across it. But in March 2010, I jumped at the opportunity to join an all-star team that included Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, Sarah Pulliam Bailey and Brad Greenberg. As I wrote in my introductory post:

For a faithful GetReligion reader such as myself, joining the team of contributors is like a baseball fan invited to sit in the press box and share his opinions during the World Series.

Although it’s not quite in the same league as my beloved Texas Rangers, I’m a big fan of this weblog and its endeavor to pinpoint and expose the religion ghosts in the mainstream news media.

But here are five things they didn’t tell me when I signed up:

1. Writing media criticism on short deadlines is like pulling a tooth a day. Since all of us who write for GetReligion do so on a part-time basis, we’re constantly making time to post between our real jobs, our families and our other priorities (did I mention Rangers baseball?). We’re reading and analyzing stories in a hurry, then filing posts like breaking-news reporters.

2. The avalanche of email never stops.  My GetReligion story possibilities folder has 5,086 items in it as of this moment. Granted, some of those items go back to when I started. But you get the point: We’re flooded with possible stories to critique, and there’s no way we can get to everything that deserves a thoughtful analysis. Thus, the guilt files that we sometimes talk about.

[Read more...]

Nah-nah-nah-nah: Navel-gazing at ninth anniversary

So tmatt kicked off the GetReligion ninth anniversary celebration over the weekend.

As we contemplate the future of this site dedicated to critiquing the mass media’s coverage of religion news, we want to hand the microphone to you, kind reader.

Why do you read GetReligion?

Yes, we’re fishing for compliments. But hey, it’s our birthday, so indulge us, OK?

And if you’ll say something nice, we’ll let you offer a little constructive criticism, too.

Here are a few questions to consider:

What kinds of posts do you enjoy most? Least?

What could we do to increase our number of comments and foster better conversations?

What improvements could we make in our content, approach or presentation?

The microphone is all yours.

Image via Shutterstock


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