Top News Coverage of Religion Shifts toward Politics, Scandal

By Witham, Larry | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 26, 2000 | Go to article overview

Top News Coverage of Religion Shifts toward Politics, Scandal


Witham, Larry, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


News coverage of religion by top U.S. media outlets has swung to politics and scandal over the past three decades, but always has given more play to opinions favoring strict sexual morality.

This is one finding of a survey by the Center for Media and Public Affairs, which analyzed all religion news reported between 1969 and 1998 by two dailies, three news magazines and the evening news on three networks.

"The greatest overall shift," the study said, was "the diminished focus on church governance and the role of women and minorities, and the attendant increase in discussion of politics, crime and scandal."

In looking at religion stories' treatment of abortion, extramarital sex, birth control, homosexuality, homosexual clergy and divorce, "the views expressed on issues of sexual morality had a decidedly traditional or conservative bent," said the study, which was released last week.

The Catholic Church was the subject of about six in 10 of all viewpoints expressed in religion stories on sexual morality.

The media center, which does content analysis of news coverage on various topics, found that over three decades, 2,365 religion news stories were run by the New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, ABC, CBS and NBC.

The Post had the highest number of religion reports, totaling 1,155 over 29 years, or an average of 40 stories a year - fewer than one a week.

"The last decade covered by this study contained nearly as many stories as the previous two periods combined," said the study, showing that religion coverage has increased in the outlets in the 1990s.

Still, that 1990s total averages only 116 stories a year from eight of the nation's largest and wealthiest news outlets - or slightly more than two stories on religion a week.

The study included a wider survey of the attendance at religious worship by journalists in the "national media," finding that 8 percent attended weekly in 1980 and 11 percent attended weekly in 1995. The general public claims 40 percent weekly attendance.

Though the number of stories on Protestants and Catholics slightly increased in the three decades, the proportion of coverage given the two largest religious groups "declined significantly."

More coverage was given to small Christian groups, world religions, Eastern religions and new religions, the study said. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Top News Coverage of Religion Shifts toward Politics, Scandal
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    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.