Won’t Newspapers Even Listen to Their Own Leaders?
Back in 2005 New York Times editor Bill Keller wrote a memo about improvements the Times could make to its reporting. Some of those comments had to do with dealing with religion, conservatives, and religious conservatives. Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell did the same in an OpEd.
* Devote more coverage to religion. When you see how many reporters cover sports and politics, it seems natural to add more coverage of a subject dear to many readers’ hearts. This region has a wealth of religions with interesting stories. Recent Page 1 stories on the antiabortion movement by Jacqueline Salmon and new Catholic rules on fertility by Michelle Boorstein and science reporter Rob Stein were good to see, but two religion reporters aren’t enough.
* Make a serious effort to cover political and social conservatives and their issues; the paper tends to shy away from those stories, leaving conservatives feeling excluded and alienated from the paper. I’d like those who have canceled their subscriptions to be readers again. Too many Post staff members think alike; more diversity of opinion should be welcomed.
She has other advice, of course. But doesn’t that sound rather familiar? Of course, not all religious people are conservative, so it would be wrong to draw an iron-clad link between these two points. Still, many of the readers who feel abused and avoided are on the cultural and doctrinal side of the sanctuary aisle. So Howell is right to underline these points.
If the leaders of these two nationals papers are clued in to these problems and have pointed them out, why haven’t they made any move to fix them? Is this a case of obstinacy or home-blindness?
— Via GetReligion