Blind Spot: When Journalists Don't Get Religion

Overview

Why do the media so often miss or misunderstand major news stories? One reason is that, in today's complex and pervasively religious world, understanding religion is vital in accurately reporting and interpreting current events. The authors of Blind Spot argue that all too frequently journalists and commentators do not take religion seriously and therefore fail to grasp the religious context of the news.

Blind Spot's essays examine news stories reported by major media sources in...

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Overview

Why do the media so often miss or misunderstand major news stories? One reason is that, in today's complex and pervasively religious world, understanding religion is vital in accurately reporting and interpreting current events. The authors of Blind Spot argue that all too frequently journalists and commentators do not take religion seriously and therefore fail to grasp the religious context of the news.

Blind Spot's essays examine news stories reported by major media sources in which key religious dimensions were ignored, overlooked, or misrepresented. These stories range from the 2004 U.S. presidential elections, to Iran, Iraq, and the papal succession. Blind Spot offers all readers — whether people of faith or not — an interesting and balanced analysis of the news media's uneasy relationship with religion and religious issues.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It's not often that I let out a whoop of joy when I read a book, but I did while reading Blind Spot: When Journalists Don't Get Religion. I've been preaching this gospel for 15 years and it's great to see it so brilliantly argued and supported in these pages. The editors have assembled a top-flight team of scholars and writers to build the case brick by solid brick. It is now an unassailable truth: without an understanding of religion, a journalist can miss the greatest stories of our time. This is the book I — and my students — have been waiting for." —Professor Ari Goldman, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and author of The Search for God at Harvard

"Since press blindness is one reason for the declining circulations of standard newspapers and newsmagazines, Blind Spot should be required reading for journalists and journalism professors who hope to respond not only to technological changes but to cultural ones as well." —World

"This is an instructive book for practitioners. It is written by experienced analysts of religion who want reporters to deepen their knowledge of the subject... Blind Spot should make any religion reporter a more astute student of the journalistic craft." —Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

"A provocative mix of painstaking scholarly analysis with lively samples of news reporting. The writing is cohesive and accessible, engaging and—occasionally—entertaining, and it could prove an effective point of departure for classroom use at undergraduate and graduate student levels."—Religion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195374377
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/14/2008
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,419,007
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Marshall is Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom. Lela Gilbert is a freelance writer and editor who has authored or co-authored more than sixty published books. Roberta Green Ahmanson is an award-winning journalist and co-author of Islam at the Crossroads.

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Table of Contents

Contributors xi

Foreword Michael J. Gerson xvii

Part I Background

Introduction Paul Marshall 3

1 God Is Winning: Religion in Global Politics Timothy Samuel Shah Monica Duffy Toft 11

Part II Case Studies

2 Religion and Terrorism: Misreading al Qaeda Paul Marshall 31

3 Three Decades of Misreporting Iran and Iraq Michael Rubin 47

4 The Faith-Based Human Rights Quest: Missing the Story Allen D. Hertzke 65

5 "Misunderestimating" Religion in the 2004 Presidential Campaign C. Danielle Vinson James L. Guth 87

6 The Popes Amy Welborn 107

7 Jesus Christ, Superstar: The Passion of the Press Jeremy Lott 129

Part III Getting It Right

8 Getting Religion in the Newsroom Terry Mattingly 145

9 Getting It Right Roberta Green Ahmanson 159

Afterword John J. DiIulio Jr. 173

Notes 179

Index 211

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