Belief Beat

The religion beat has suffered more than its share of budget cuts and turnover in recent years, so I was pleasantly surprised to see both major American weekly news magazines feature faith-based cover stories recently.

newsweeksaintsarah.jpgUnfortunately, religion and journalism experts have found plenty of overgeneralizations, missed angles and other problems with both Time magazine’s May 27 piece on “Why Being Pope Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry: The Sex Abuse Scandal and the Limits of Atonement” and Newsweek‘s June 21 “Saint Sarah: What Palin’s Appeal to Conservative Christian Women Says About Feminism and the Future of the Religious Right.”

Personally, I thought these were each newsworthy stories that suffered from cutesy, misleading titles (Pope Benedict has apologized several times now for the clergy sex abuse scandal; Sarah Palin is no saint) — but, given the state of print media these days, that’s a forgivable sin, especially if it gets a few thousand more people to pick up copies at the newsstand.

Check out the stories, and GetReligion’s critiques of the Time and Newsweek pieces, then share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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