The authors, both former religion reporters, include unusual and little knownstories in this collection, placing those articles within their historical contexts in brief introductory sections to each chapter. This compilation stands alone as an anthology of religious news coverage and fills a void for scholars ofAmerican religion and journalism history. It would be all the more valuable,however, if it included a cross-referencing system to enable searches bypublication, text, or date.
Buddenbaum and Mason accept Mark Silk's assumption that the media support widely shared cultural values that are at their core religious in nature. The stories selected for inclusion in this volume illustrate"continuities in issues, arguments and styles." Their examination ofreligious news coverage highlights the ways in which the media has shapedboth the country's religious climate and public opinions about religion. Taken as a whole, media coverage of religion demonstrates that while over time theissues themselves appear to be far flung and wide ranging, the fact ofreligiously motivated debate on matters of public concern has been aconstant in the history of this country. That continuity only reinforces thetruth that when it comes to religion and the news, there is indeed nothingnew under the sun.