Newspaper reporter critiqued by GetReligion fires back

.@TipsForJesus still leaves $$$, so for #Easter, we asked ethicists – is it moral? — Megan Finnerty (@MeganMFinnerty) April 17, 2014 First off, my apologies for that click bait. Megan Finnerty, a Page 1 reporter for the Arizona Republic, didn’t really fire back at my recent negative review of her pre-Easter story on “Tips [Read More…]

What would Jesus tip? Be sure to ask … secular ethicists!?

.@TipsForJesus still leaves $$$, so for #Easter, we asked ethicists – is it moral? — Megan Finnerty (@MeganMFinnerty) April 17, 2014   Just in time for Easter, The Arizona Republic decided to write about #TipsforJesus. As the Page 1 reporter who wrote the story put it on Twitter, “@TipsforJesus still leaves $$$, so for [Read More…]

Breaking news (again): Bible Belt divorce rates high

News travels fast. Sometimes. In 1999, The Associated Press reported on Bible Belt states battling the highest divorce rates in the nation. As religion editor of The Oklahoman in 2002, I wrote a series of stories on Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating’s effort to reduce my home state’s No. 2-in-the-nation divorce rate. Nearly a decade later, CNN became the latest to [Read More…]

Strangely faith-free story about ministry to feed the poor

For the past two decades, I have spent quite a bit of time driving the back roads of the Southern Highlands, which is one of the many names that locals use to describe the Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. One of my very favorite East Tennessee roads runs from the back [Read More…]

That’s one very, very poor headline about the pope

As I have stressed many times here at GetReligion, it’s important for readers to understand that reporters rarely write the headlines that accompany their stories. Editors and specialists at copy desks write the headlines. It’s tough work, and I say that as someone who did that job for several years early in my career. A [Read More…]

Who’s feeding the starving people?

If you’re familiar with USA Today, you know that the front page generally features a few short, newsy pieces and a longer “cover story” that goes in depth and jumps inside the newspaper. Wednesday’s big story focused on the poor still struggling to recover in an Ohio county despite some overall positive signs on the economic [Read More…]

Shock: Bishops decide to defend Catholic tradition!

OK, let’s deal with some basic questions about Catholic bishops and politics. In terms of basic journalism language, when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released pastoral documents about, oh, nuclear weapons, were these statements doctrinal or merely political? When the bishops speak out on America’s actions abroad, let’s say in Iraq or the Middle [Read More…]