Religion and the 1963 March on Washington

August 28 is the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. There’s a huge rally down at the Lincoln Memorial today and media coverage has been ramping up in preparation. One of the complaints we’ve gotten about that coverage is that it has oddly avoided mention of the religious component of the original march [Read More...]

Saith the WPost: So what’s really going on in Egypt?

My cellphone chimed at me earlier this afternoon with a news bulletin from CNN that actress Lisa Robin Kelly had died. Millions of Americans would want to know this breaking news, I imagine, because of her work with the television comedy “That ’70s Show.” I think it is safe to say (tragic but true, in [Read More...]

Hey Mr. DJ, put some praise music on

As a famous religious figure once said, “Ask and you shall receive.” Sometimes even we media critics get what we ask for. Last month I asked for more – and deeper – coverage of hipster churches, and then this week veteran Godbeat reporter Michelle Boorstein fulfills my request (at least partially). Last Sunday the Church [Read More...]

Married 60 times before age 18 in Egypt

The Washington Post had a religion news blog item last week headlined, horrifyingly, “‘Some girls have been married 60 times by the time they turn 18′.” The story somewhat conflates marriage of young women with the epidemic of children sold into marriage. I also worried about the veracity of the statistics and the context in [Read More...]

Pod people: A little GetEducation for GetReligion

In the 1990s, before I became a religion writer, I covered education for The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City’s daily newspaper. I wrote numerous stories on the school choice movement, from vouchers to magnet schools to charter schools. In 1999, I won a two-month travel fellowship from the Education Writers Association to investigate school choice in Oklahoma City [Read More...]

Big tests for media’s abortion message machine

Someone on Twitter noticed something illuminating about mainstream media coverage of social issues that’s worth a look. Remember, first, how tmatt quoted the New York Times‘ Bill Keller on the bias dividing line of that paper: Asked directly if the Times slants its coverage to favor “Democrats and liberals,” he added: “Aside from the liberal [Read More...]

A Newtown massacre in Nigeria, with ghosts

Absolutely horrific news out of Nigeria today. From the Associated Press: POTISKUM, Nigeria — Islamic militants attacked a boarding school in northeastern Nigeria before dawn on Saturday, killing 29 students and a teacher. Survivors said that some pupils were burned alive in the latest school attack said to have been carried out by a radical [Read More...]

Why atheists who pray should still be called atheists

What do you call someone who reads the Bible, attends church, prays daily, and believes in the existence of the soul, heaven, hell, and life after death? Sometimes you call them “atheists.” A reporter on the crime beat has clear-cut criteria for distinguishing between criminals and police. Likewise political journalists can typically rely on their [Read More...]


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