Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Stewart M. Hoover
It is an intriguing conundrum that religion has been, and remains, a difficult and challenging subject matter for journalists and journalism. This has been particularly confusing in the case of the United States, the most religious of the major Western Democracies. American traditions of freedom of religion and freedom of the press, linked in the First Amendment, should be linked in traditions of openness and public discourse. Instead, as has often been observed, religion has existed in a peculiar place within journalism. Observers across the political spectrum have criticized American news coverage of religion along two dimensions: First, that there simply is not enough of it, and second, that when journalists have taken on the religion story, they have failed to do so with the same levels of expertise and seriousness they devote to other, more “important” beats. Why should religion be part of the news budget? There are a ...