Reporting News about Religion: An Introduction for Journalists

Front Cover
Religion. It's the greatest story never told -- or at least rarely told well. Though second only to education in the public's ranking of importance, religion reporting tends to turn up last in audience satisfaction. Reporting News About Religion takes aim at all the special challenges and difficulties that make this so. Geared to print and broadcast journalists, the book provides substantive information about religion and practical advice about covering religion stories thoroughly and sensitively.

Buddenbaum divides her overview into three parts: the background information journalists need in order to understand religion and its role in American culture; the place of religion in the media, audience interests, and the implications of various practices concerning the definition, organization, and assignment of religion news; and reporting and writing techniques such as sourcing, story framing, and language use that can be especially problematic in the value-laden realm of religion reporting.

Firmly grounded in the social sciences and in an appreciation of the protection given to all religions by the First Amendment, this book avoids the pitfalls and biases of most accounts of religion news. It features an annotated list of readings that will further inform students and journalists, as well as specific sources for information about a broad range of religions and religious organizations.

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