Pope’s abuse apology: Media did a fair job, surprisingly

Mainstream media didn’t pile onto Pope Francis. I know that sounds cynical — something like “Johnny’s trumpet recital didn’t suck!” — but in the story of Francis’ personal apology to victims of priestly abuse, reporters actually reported. They left pontifications to the pontiff. Francis, of course, has apologized before for the abuses that his predecessors [Read More...]

Two views of SCOTUS abortion decision — both on NBC

Is NBC News going schizoid? The way the network reported the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on abortion buffer zones sounded like it was done by different people, maybe even on different stories. As you probably know by now, the nine justices — in a remarkable unanimous decision — struck down Massachusetts’ law requiring protesters to [Read More...]

What’s in a name? PCA vs. PCUSA

Oh my. My heart goes out to the writer at NBC News’ breaking news desk for having bungled a story from the Presbyterian Church of the USA (PCUSA)’s General Assembly in Detroit. From the conservative religion news and advocacy website Juicy Ecumenism, here is a report from reporter Alexander Griswold from the meeting: At its [Read More...]

Writing on houses of worship? Ignore the religious

Pop quiz: When you write about baseball or surgery, whom should you quote? That’s right. And when you write about playing a piano or cello, whom should you quote? Right again. And when you write about religion, whom should you quote? Nope, missed that one. When writing about any field, you must include its practitioners [Read More...]

Luke Russert on snark, journalism, faith and easy targets

Let’s start the day with a quick thought from Luke Russert of NBC News, who recently sat down with David Brody of The Christian Broadcasting Network — the rather rare reporter in the Christian television world who often talks with real, live national leaders and thinkers. Russert, of course, is the son of the late [Read More...]

The heroism of Antoinette Tuff

A reader sent along a link to a story about an amazing woman who talked down a gunman at an Atlanta-area elementary school. Her name is Antoinette Tuff and the full 9-1-1 call she made — which includes her conversation with the gunman — is gripping. You can hear it from CNN here. Her courage [Read More...]

Pope Francis’ 1st miracle: media coverage of mercy

A day after Popocalypse 2013 happened, we have the actual transcript of the remarks that got journalists worldwide going. And it’s safe to say that a quick read of it gives a different impression than the headlines or tweets that blasted out the news. But, hey, we are a culture of tweets and headlines, not [Read More...]

Mysterious deluge of unreported Catholics

I’m on a few of those neighborhood list-servs. One of them is for area parents. One of the members is a local reporter and she asks for interviews with folks for various stories she’s working on. Well, one of her recent stories was related to the Newtown massacre. Had any parents, she wanted to know, [Read More...]


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