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
Religious News Media
Daniel A. Stout
Religious news media comprise an important part of journalism. While the term immediately conjures up contemporary vehicles such as Belief Net, The 700 Club , and Christianity Today , religious news is nearly as old as religion itself. Given that religion is a cultural universal (though in many different flavors), its involvement in journalism has been enduring and far-reaching. Indeed, at times in history, religious news media have been the only forms of mass communication. Currently, however, religious journalism usually takes a secondary role to more dominant secular media. Nevertheless, the range of religious news media has expanded; they remain vital to the survival of denominations. Religious media raise issues often ignored by secular outlets. On the other hand, concerns about the lack of participatory involvement are raised when religious news becomes the exclusive source of information. While religious news is found in all traditional media forms (i.e., newspapers, radio, ...