Journalism and stem cell research 101

If you think general religion coverage is bad, try mixing it with media coverage of science. Then try to find a reporter who handles it well. It’s almost impossible. Back when I started at GetReligion, I could have posted daily on the errors in coverage of what used to be an extremely hot-button topic — [Read More...]

Remember to substantiate charges

The International Business Times sure has a scoop. Headline: Conclave 2013: Pope Benedict XVI ‘Did Nothing’ to Stop Paedophile Priest Nello Giraudo The headline phrasing makes it seem like the conclave decided that Pope Benedict XVI “did nothing” to stop a pedophile priest. Or at least someone said he “did nothing” to stop a bad [Read More...]

That minister of humor unloads on the pope coverage

The thought for the day and, perhaps, for the next week or two, care of Father James Martin, the chaplain of The Colbert Report and author of the essential “Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life.” The problem, as you will see in this Facebook [Read More...]

Why is the pope so old? (And other media questions)

A few days ago, the Washington Post tweeted out a link to a piece on its web site with the tease “Why is the pope always so old?” and a link to an article. Within moments, a bunch of people responded negatively to the tweet. I attached a screen shot here, but the comments included: [Read More...]

Where’s the faith content in these sex scandals?

On one level, that New York Times feature story on the fall of Msgr. Kevn Wallin of Connecticut has everything one would want in a religion scandal. I mean, it’s got sex, crystal meth, Broadway show tunes and a hazy link to a future cardinal. Consider this summary material: At a time when priests from [Read More...]

Unnecessary words and the Vatican’s ‘gay lobby’

Yesterday a reader tweeted that The Guardian was clearly trying to insinuate that Pope Benedict XVI is compromised in some way, resigning in disgrace. The headline: Papal resignation linked to inquiry into ‘Vatican gay officials’, says paper  Pope’s staff decline to confirm or deny La Repubblica claims linking ‘Vatileaks’ affair and discovery of ‘blackmailed gay [Read More...]

Media fallibility on papal infallibility

Last week in my post “Turkson wouldn’t be first African pope,” I quoted from an humorous guide for journalists covering the election. The last tip: Yes, the next Pope will be a man and a Catholic. So obvious that it was barely funny, right? And yet … you can view here New York magazine contributing [Read More...]

Pod people: Pope steps down; many journalists fall down

Gentle readers, one cannot make some of this stuff up. So, everyone knows that Pope Benedict XVI is elderly and has physical ailments. So how tired and elderly is this man? Read the following passage from The Washington Post carefully. The story offers details from his dramatic final dramatic Mass, as pope, at St. Peter’s [Read More...]


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