Magazine article Anglican Journal

Faith Interests Media: Do Media Interest Faith?

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Faith Interests Media: Do Media Interest Faith?

Article excerpt

THERE'S A QUIET revolution going on in the media these days. Journalists are beginning to reappraise the role of faith in people's lives. A faith and media conference in Ottawa earlier this year drew representatives from both faith and secular media, as well as leaders from many faiths. Senior newspaper and magazine editors from some of the country's largest news organizations were among secular media representatives and the CBC broadcast portions of the meeting on both radio and television prime-time shows.

Professional magazines for journalists have also carried articles about faith and media, including what the different constituents think about mainstream media coverage of issues.

But it goes deeper. Journalists have long been regarded as the cynics of the world. Dubbed the Fourth Estate, they have relished in challenging the other "estates" of society (clergy were the First Estate under the late medieval arrangement -- the vestiges are the bishops of the Church of England who sit in the House of Lords).

Twenty-five years ago, the stereotypical journalist was the gruff, foul-mouthed, hard-drinking male newspaper reporter or editor. Today, it's the smart-dressed, young woman or man; still tough but less hampered by the baggage of being against everything in society.

They're also interested in the same things the rest of the society they mirror is, and spirituality and faith are right up there. This isn't to be confused with a wholesale return to institutional religion, but the church ought to be taking notes. This is on the record.

A recent writers' conference in Halifax will illustrate. The print and broadcast media event was put on by the Canadian Association of Journalists. It's a group with voluntary membership that attracts some of the best journalists in the country and rewards their hard-hitting investigative work with coveted annual awards. Bishops have been off their breakfast menu for years, replaced by police and prime ministers (pass the pepper-spray).

As with most conferences, corridors and parties are where the real work is done and religion popped up several times. One was particularly instructive for church leaders. A conversation at a party involving two under-40 journalists, one print, one radio, centred on the question of homosexuality and the Bible. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.