Religion Q and A and Old-Fashioned Journalism’s Five W’s

        As launches this, its latest blog:  

        Who?  Over to the right there’s brief info about the Ridgewood Religion Guy who writes these posts. Click there if you’d like further bio. Full disclosure: The Guy lists his religious affiliation. However, this blog does not promote a particular faith perspective or denomination, unlike so many religion offerings across the Net. This will be old-fashioned -- and getting to be increasingly out-of-fashion -- journalism.  Postings might be somewhat interpretive and perhaps occasionally you’ll sense some spin. But information, not opinion, is mainly what the Guy has to offer.  

        What?  The usual. Viewers send the Guy questions off this page, in this case regarding any old thing about any and all faith options, holy books, moral questions, spiritual options, religio-political issues, media treatments of belief and believers, and the like. If the Guy is able and has something to say, he’ll reply. Your posted comments in response to the Guy’s answers (edited for taste and fairness but not for viewpoint) are a crucial aspect of the operation. In case the Guy gets inundated with questions, those chosen for posting will mostly be brief, interesting, pertinent, and perhaps also timely.

        When  Now.

        Where  Here.

        Why?  The Guy was mostly relaxing in retirement after hectic decades on the fabulous “religion beat,” chasing news and newsmakers, bumping up against deadlines, and dealing with editors. But then conversations in the Guy’s local church about community services we could provide, individually and collectively, stirred up the perennial thought that religion is so vastly intriguing and complex that somebody somewhere should try to do something when culture is full of ignorant, misleading, inaccurate, biased, hostile, or highly tendentious material about religion. Where does anyone go to ask an honest question and get a reliable, reasonably informed, and non-partisan answer? So the Guy decided to take the plunge, and here we are “in the beginning.” Should be interesting. Could be useful. Might be fun.

About Richard Ostling

Richard N. Ostling, a religion writer for the Associated Press, was formerly senior correspondent for Time magazine, where he wrote twenty-three cover stories and was the religion writer for many years. He has also covered religion for the CBS Radio Network and the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS-TV.