Lovers and labels in coverage of same-sex marriage ruling (updated)

Update: Yikes! One of the drawbacks of media-criticism-on-the-go is the possibility of writing a post that, in retrospect, makes you sound really stupid. Such is the case with this one, which prompted reader Sarah Morriss to comment: You do know that “Virginia is for lovers” is the tourism and travel slogan used by the Commonwealth [Read More...]

What? You thought Francis, Peres and Abbas really prayed?

Let’s state this in journalistic terms. What? You thought that the mainstream journalists covering the remarkable Vatican rite offering prayers for Middle East peace rite would actually produce coverage that included any content from the prayers? Friends and neighbors, this event was all about politics and statecraft. Clearly, if the men wanted to produce real [Read More...]

Worst religion story of the year? AP trashes Phil Robertson

Sigh…no context, just a quick Associated Press gotcha blurb.  Yep, that reader’s email to GetReligion pretty much sums up an atrocious, 135-word piece of AP “journalism” on Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame. The headline: New anti-gay remarks by ‘Duck Dynasty’ star emerge The lede: NEW YORK (AP) — A&E has declined to comment on [Read More...]

How much religion news can fit in 300-500 words?

Given your short attention span, I’ll make this brief. And I’ll get right to the point: For once, The Associated Press is making news instead of reporting it. Here’s the story as reported by The Washington Post: Citing a “sea of bloated mid-level copy,” Associated Press Managing Editor for U.S. News Brian Carovillano last week instructed [Read More...]

About that ‘complex’ doctrine Catholic teachers must follow

Imagine this lede atop a national wire service story: CINCINNATI (AP) — Parochial teachers are so ignorant of basic Roman Catholic doctrine the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is giving them a cheat sheet on some of the things that can get them fired. That is, of course, not the spin that The Associated Press took. Here’s the [Read More...]

Ghosts haunt AP story on Boy Scouts of America

When my oldest son was a Boy Scout, the entire experience was couched in church settings. His pack meetings took place in church halls,  and ceremonies were scheduled in church sanctuaries and auditoriums. His pack leaders often doubled as congregational lay leaders, and the boys were asked once a year to don their uniforms and [Read More...]

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...]

Blessed corpses — and holy ghosts — after typhoon

Here’s my nominee for “Most Bland Headline of the Weekend.” It appeared atop an Associated Press report: Church services held in typhoon-shattered city On the other hand, the story’s lede is pretty compelling: TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) — Hours after the storm hit the Philippines, the Rev. Amadero Alvero was on the streets, sprinkling holy water over the dead and praying [Read More...]


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