It becomes increasingly evident that, as William Schneider is quoted as saying, “the press . . . just doesn’t ‘get’ religion” — so much so that Deacon Greg, in addition to all of the other news-mining he engages in every day for our edification, has lately taken to chronicling the media balldrops on the subject.
Even better than a Deacon/Journalist keeping track of media mishaps on religion is a whole site dedicated to the daily monitoring and analysis of press coverage on religious stories, great and small — and that’s what Terry Mattingly and the gang at “Get Religion” have been doing so well, for so long.
And now, they get to do it here, at Patheos, as “Get Religion” becomes part of our just-launched News and Politics Channel, which earlier this week also introduced Oklahoma State Representative Rebecca Hamilton, a Catholic, pro-life Democrat.
As you see from the landing page, the News and Politics is going to collect a wide range of perspectives, from all of the channels, and I can’t think of anything more valuable at a time when we are so divided and trying to understand one another. It helps to be able to see what the Buddhist and the Muslim communities are thinking about the stories we’re all pondering and so often, online, we forget to look outside of our own comfortable chambers.
Get Religion is going to be a big and welcome part of all that. As Mattingly writes here:
…we think religion deserves a chair at the table of serious news coverage. We’ve been making that case for nearly 7,500 posts and millions of words. We are not going to stop chasing those religion-news “ghosts.” [. . .] Where in the world, GetReligion readers might ask, would a journalism blog about religion fit into that structure?
Well, the reason we have signed up with Patheos is that its leaders have committed to creating what will be a sprawling new channel dedicated to news, politics and culture. Some of the folks who have already set up shop there are Greg Kandra (former CBS News producer) at The Deacon’s Bench, former GetReligion scribe Jeremy Lott of Real Clear Religion, the Muslimah Media Watch, the Public Religion Research Institute’s Faith in the Numbers blog, Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review Online and others.
There will be plenty more. There are many different angles, when it comes to discussing the intersection of religion and the news. Bring ‘em on. Patheos is big enough for activists, journalists, scholars, commentators, clergy, politicians and lots of other folks who are interested in the world of religion.
Tim Dalrymple has done the heavy-lifting of putting the new channel together and bringing Get Religion aboard, and I must say they have hit the ground running; they’ve already offered analysis of the rather muted media coverage of this week’s attempted mayhem at the Family Research Council (how quickly has that story been shoved down the memory hole?); they’ve asked Who Determines Who is a Jew? and Should Abortion Get Some Coverage, Maybe?; they’ve explored inaccurate ways the press reports on nuns and more — like this really lazy error by the NY Times.
Welcome aboard, guys!