Pontifications

Pontifications


Pope in U.S. dominated religion coverage in 2008

posted by David Gibson

Nothing else was close. Benedict’s April visit to the U.S. took up 37 percent of the religion newshole, while religion stories from the campaign accounted for 21 percent, according to an analysis of the mainstream media in 2008 conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Other religion-related topics made low single digits at best.

Tough to complain that the media ignores the pope. Whether folks liked the coverage is another thing. This graphic shows what topics related to the visit received most attention:

Pope coverage graphic.gif

Interesting, I think, and perhaps goes against some popular impressions. Yes, the clergy abuse scandal was tops, far and away. But that was inevitable, and the pope’s own words and actions for the first few days also drew attention. “Straightforward coverage” (how these were defined could always be debated, but I think one gets the general sense) and “Substance of message” rank well, and ahead of politics and the church.

Now for the bad news: In 2008, religion filled just 1 (lousy) percent of the entire newshole–the same as immigration, education, and race- and gender-focused stories, according to Pew. Politics (29 percent) and the U.S. economy (13 percent) were first and second.

Moreover, the graphic below shows (graphically) how little else beyond Benedict’s visit–and of course the (bloody) holidays–was covered. Ouch.

 

Religion coverage in 2008--Pew.gifCoverage of the pope is nice, but this graph shows how the rest of the church does not get covered–or much else, for that matter.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(1)
post a comment
elmo

posted March 19, 2009 at 4:39 pm


I don’t think anybody is arguing that the media ignores the doings of the Church, but there is a good argument to be made that reporters and bloggers (even those who say they are Catholic), report with little knowledge of or a desire to even learn about the Church. See Abp Chaput’s remarks to get a sense of the frustration of many Catholics: http://www.getreligion.org/?p=9297#comments



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Pontifications. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Faith, Media and Culture Prayer, Plain and Simple Happy Blogging!!!  

posted 2:38:01pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Moving on, and many, many thanks...
So...my recent vacation and related absences also coincided with an offer from PoliticsDaily.com to cover religion for them, as editor Melinda Henneberger announces here in her roundup on the site's very successful first 100 days. That means, in short, that I'll have to sign off from blogging h

posted 8:29:24pm Aug. 02, 2009 | read full post »

Calvin at 500, Calvinism 2.0
If you thought you knew John Calvin--who turned 500 last week--you probably don't know enough. For example, that he was French, born Jean Cauvin. And if he was in fact scandalized by dancing, he was also a lot more complex than that. I explored the new look Calvin in an essay at PoliticsDaily, "Patr

posted 11:53:35am Jul. 16, 2009 | read full post »

Apologia pro vita sua...Kinda
 In my defense, I've had computer outages and family reunions and a few days of single-parenthood, which is always a bracing reminder of what many parents go through all the time. And this weekend it's off for a week's vacation. Anyway, hence the long absence. Apologies to those who have chec

posted 10:51:36am Jul. 16, 2009 | read full post »

When Benny met Barry: "I'll pray for you!"
The first word via Vatican Radio and first image (that I saw) via Rocco: Speaking to Vatican Radio, Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi said "moral values in international politics, immigration and the Catholic Church's contribution in developing countries" were key topics of discussio

posted 12:54:28pm Jul. 10, 2009 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.