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The Media Gets Religion

Fred Barnes

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The only problem is that, according to a new study, they get it wrong.

You wouldn't think students in a single college class could advance the debate on a major media issue. But they have. The issue is how the press covers religion.

The papers scrutinized...were the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News, Boston Globe, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Denver Post, Wall Street Journal, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, USA Today, and Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

So what were the specific findings? For one, more often than not religion is fleetingly mentioned rather than being the subject of a story. Two, religion stories are mostly about how some faith deals with political or legal issues. ...The study also found that while religion is often used to identify people, it is done haphazardly...Another finding: The religious left's opposition to the war with Iraq got a lot more attention than the religious case for the war.

Finally...the most important conclusion: The bad-news bias so prevalent in the media today also permeates the coverage of religion. "All the papers studied devote more coverage to religion in the context of bad deeds than they do to the good deeds religions do in their communities."

Read the entire article on The Weekly Standard website.



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Copyright 2001-2014 OrthodoxyToday.org. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article is subject to the policy of the individual copyright holder. See OrthodoxyToday.org for details.


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