Seeking “redemption” after Petraeus scandal, Paula Broadwell looks to faith cbsn.ws/130ApsB
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 1, 2013
Former GetReligionista Sarah Pulliam Bailey noticed something weird about today’s stories about Paula Broadwell. They all refer to her faith but they don’t tell us what her faith is.
Above you see the example from CBS News, headlined:
Seeking “redemption” after Petraeus scandal, Paula Broadwell looks to faith
Paula Broadwell looks to faith to rebuild after Petraeus affair
And here’s CNN:
Petraeus’ mistress Broadwell: I’m looking forward with faith
All of the stories are based on an interview she gave to the local CBS affiliate in Charlotte. And it’s Broadwell who is oblique about the “faith-based” environment she’s referring to. She’s interviewed while attending a YWCA prayer breakfast, which could give a clue, but the YWCA is no longer necessarily Christian (as it’s original name, the Young Women’s Christian Association, would lead you to believe).She mentions God and family and trying to find meaningful work, none of which narrows it down terribly much.
To be completely honest, I don’t even see the need for a story on Broadwell’s faith right now. But if you are going to do it, do it! The basic questions of journalism should be answered in a story on a given topic. Readers should not have to guess or surmise what the faith in question is … in a story about someone’s faith.
More than that, I’d like a bit more digging down on the particulars of a person’s faith. Once you find out which general religion we’re talking about, wouldn’t it be nice to learn a bit more about what, specifically, their religion is helping them with or what has been most challenging?
In light of the journalistic response to Chris Broussard’s comments on sin the other day, I’m wondering if the media have just completely dropped the ball on knowing how to talk about such religious concepts as sin and redemption. It’s clear they’re not handling the topics very maturely or very well. This is just the latest example.