To be ‘killed, crucified or have their hands and feet cut off’ …

At this point in the growing Iraq crisis, I think it is safe to say that European journalists, in comparison with their American counterparts, are much more comfortable putting the words “caliphate,” “sharia” and “decapitated” at the top of their news reports. Soon to come, bold references to the fate of “apostates” and perhaps even [Read More...]

Specific notes of hope, along with the horrors in Nigeria

I don’t want to turn this into a trend, or anything. Heaven forbid. However, the honorable Bobby Ross Jr. just produced a positive post (horrors) about a news report on Nigeria in The Wall Street Journal and now I am going to do the same thing (horrors 2.0) about a news feature in The Washington [Read More...]

It’s not hard! WPost offers some crucial Boko Haram facts

In the past month or two, I have been really, really hard on the editors at The New York Times because of their mysterious — that word is carefully chosen — blind spot when it comes to basic, on-the-record facts about the beliefs, motives and tactics of the radical Islamist network Boko (“books”) Haram (“forbidden”) [Read More...]

Pod people: To the end of the secular universe and beyond!

Imagine that you are caught in the middle of the following puzzle. You are a journalist who works for a mainstream newspaper, broadcast network or wire service. According to decades of tradition about your craft, you are supposed to write news copy that ordinary Americans — some say middle-school level readers — can read and [Read More...]

Universe gives birth to itself, transformed by unknown ‘force’

This is a challenging day to be a journalist on the science beat, if the goal is to avoid ultimate questions. I am happy to report that The Washington Post — to my surprise, quite frankly — didn’t try to avoid the obvious. Here’s the top of its story on the Big Bang update that [Read More...]

Dear journalists: When in Ukraine, try talking to Ukrainians

Hearing the confessions of soldiers shortly before they go into combat is one of the most important and symbolic duties performed by priests who serve as military chaplains representing Christianity’s ancient churches. After all, the soldiers are going into harm’s way and there is no way to know if they will return. In a way, [Read More...]

The sad story of a priest, a partial-penitent and the press

At this point, it is no longer unusual to read a news story about an issue linked to homosexuality that yanks the pope’s famous “Who am I to judge?” quote out of context. Alas, this is now business as usual in the mainstream press. Click here for a refresher course — video and transcript — [Read More...]

Obama erases the ‘scare quotes’ around religious freedom?

In recent years, there has been quite a bit of discussion at GetReligion about the ways in which mainstream journalists use “scare quotes” as a way to suggest which causes they see as questionable, as opposed to social, political, cultural or religious causes that they believe are serious concerns. Consider, for example, the terms “religious [Read More...]


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