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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Religious-based civil rights movement a key underplayed story

In "God Is a Problem, Sources Say: How secular newsrooms handle stories with a religious component, "Vincent Carroll reports,
No less revealing has been coverage of the faith-based effort to deploy U.S. foreign policy on behalf of victims of persecution. An alliance that included conservative evangelicals, the Catholic Church, Jewish groups and a variety of other organizations prodded Congress into passing four watershed measures: the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, the Sudan Peace Act of 2002 and the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004. "Any one of these initiatives is a major story," Allen D. Hertzke writes, "but together they represent the most important human rights movement since the end of the cold war."

Not only was this story underplayed in the press; it was often miscast as merely a crusade of Christian conservatives and reported with patronizing, skeptical references to their claims - as if the persecution of Christians abroad was a matter of debate. Too many journalists apparently have trouble treating with respect any movement in which Christian conservatives provide what Mr. Hertzke calls "crucial grass-roots muscle." (December 22, 2008, Wall Street Journal)
The headline writer gets it entirely wrong. It's not God's problem.

God isn't in receivership; the legacy mainstream media are in receivership.

Getting this type of thing all wrong for decades is part of their culture. It won't and can't change. So people just go elsewhere for news now.

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