Catholic commentary on culture, media, and politics.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Irksome journalistic double standard

Would a newspaper hire a sports reporter to cover baseball who didn't know what an RBI is? How about a political reporter applicant who didn't know the difference between the House and the Senate? Or how about a travel section writer who had never been outside the US? All unqualified, right?

Then riddle me this: Why do religion reporters so frequently show their ignorance of their intended subject matter? As a dimension of news or current affairs, editors seem to accord the religion a very low priority and therefore low status when it comes to assigning this or that writer to cover events.

Here is a prime example. I wish I could afford cash prizes, but how many errors of fact can you spot in this article about a talk by Benedict XVI gave recently in which he mentioned hell?

Let me start: "Limbo" was never taught as some cloudy middle ground between heaven and hell!