Friday, March 23, 2007

Is Truth Dead in Religious Journalism?

Samantha Tillich, Staff Writer

Religion reporters are relying too much on faith rather than rigorous fact-checking to prepare their stories, says a recent report by the Society for Religious Journalism. The Society estimates that one in five published news stories in religious newspapers, magazines and other media contain "serious errors or distortions of facts."

The report, due to be released today at the Society's annual meeting in New York, says the worst offenders are Web-based journals, including those sites often called "blogs." On some sites the authors analyzed, two-thirds of all articles were "completely made up." Traditional print journalism also received harsh criticism. "Many articles in the [periodicals] studied were written by clergy, a class of people notorious for half-truths, propaganda and incomplete research."

Given the sensitive nature of the subject, most people interviewed for this story did not want to be identified. One senior editor at a well-known publication for Christian professionals thought the report set the bar for excellence too high. "We are human," the editor said. "We all make mistakes. How were we to know 'The Book of Todd' isn't in the Bible?"

Burton Mackerel, publisher of The Aldersgate Gazette, defended the work of his staff. "Everyone here knows that we expect the highest level of accuracy. I will not tolerate sloppy work. If even a single error reaches the pages of the Gazette, somebody will get fired."

Mackerel continued, "I am confident of our success in this area. We have a staff of six editors and 12 assistants whose sole job is to triple-check each minute detail of every story."

A quick reading of the AG staff directory revealed that no such fact-checking team exists. True to his word, Mackerel fired his secretary.

The Society for Religious Journalism's annual meeting begins today and runs through next Wednesday. The full report, "Truth Is Dead: Inaccuracy in American Religious Journalism," is available at the Society's website.

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Blogger FACTSANDFACTS said...

Evolution is actually a path of truth. Destroy that path, and one can become rapidly creative, but
unfortunately very corrupted and evil as well.

The truth at this web site is presently being rejected, hence destroyed.

Reject what you see, and you therefore contribute to the approval of absolute infinite pure Evil.

So far, the evil side is winning, BIG TIME.

This is thanks to the perfection of ignorance, arrogance, and plain human stupidity.

12:07 AM  

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