Religion reporting

Deseret News’ Ten Commandments series: ‘Not just preaching’

The Deseret News inaugurated its launch of a national website Sunday with a series on the Ten Commandments. The series is “emblematic of the type of coverage you’re likely to find” on the new site, Allison Pond told me in a phone call Friday. It follows CEO Clark Gilbert’s imperative that the news organization be not “the best in our market, but the best in the world” at covering certain topics, including family, faith, culture and money.

Pond is editor of the Deseret News’ national edition and was lead editor on the Ten Commandments series. The goal was to show how they related to everyday life, she said. Mark Kellner looks at how terms like “OMG” relate to the prohibition on taking the Lord’s name in vain; Lane Anderson writes about how social media drives consumerism and covetousness. Read more


John Allen joins Boston Globe

Boston Globe

John Allen, one of the most important reporters on the Vatican and Catholicism, is joining the Boston Globe from National Catholic Reporter, the Globe says in a release. Globe Editor Brian McGrory says Allen will have “several roles of prominence.” McGrory continues:

He will be a correspondent first and foremost. He will be an analyst on all things Catholic. He will also help us explore the very real possibility of launching a free-standing publication devoted to Catholicism, drawing in other correspondents and leading voices from near and far.

Read more
1 Comment

America magazine corrects Pope Francis interview

National Catholic Reporter

The Jesuit magazine America apologized for cutting a sentence from its English version of Pope Francis’ famous interview, Dennis Coday writes in National Catholic Reporter. NCR’s Phyllis Zagano first noticed the missing sentence, which was about expanding women’s roles in the Catholic Church, a sentence she notes made big news in Spain.

America’s version of the interview now sports the following correction:

Due to a production error, an earlier version of this interview did not contain this sentence: “It is necessary to broaden the opportunities for a stronger presence of women in the church.”

Zagano wondered whether having more women on the interview project might have prevented the mistake:

The pope complained that what he hears about women is often inspired by an ideology of machismo.

Read more
1 Comment

Three religion reporters leave dailies, but the job isn’t vanishing

Get Religion

St. Louis Post-Dispatch religion reporter Tim Townsend is leaving the paper for the Pew Research Center. He’s the third religion reporter at a daily to leave in recent weeks: Ann Rodgers is leaving the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to become the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh’s communications director, and Tennessean religion reporter Bob Smietana is heading to Christian publisher Lifeway.

“In journalism, we all know that three examples make a trend,” Bobby Ross Jr. writes, wondering “why no one wants to cover the religion beat anymore.” That may be overstating the case a bit, he allows. Read more


@JMBergoglio account is probably fake

A Twitter account that appears to be the microblogging home of new Pope Francis is probably a fake. “To the best of our knowledge, it is not his personal account,” Twitter spokesperson Elaine Filadelfo tells Poynter in an email.

You can confidently follow @pontifex.

Related: News orgs that guessed right about the new pope Read more

Vatican Pope

Pope Francis announced; some news orgs predicted his name

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is now Pope Francis, punctuating more than an hour of anticipation after white smoke rose from the Sistine Chapel’s chimney.

A Twitter account that claims to belong to Bergoglio’s, but is not, gained tens of thousands of followers since the time he stepped out onto the balcony. Here’s something that claims to be his Facebook profile.

(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The new pope is a Jesuit, and his name reflects his desire to heal the church, Rocco Palmo writes: “By choosing the name of the founder of his community’s traditional rivals,” Francis has “signaled two things: his desire to be a force of unity in a polarized fold, and his intent to ‘repair God’s house, which has fallen into ruin’… that is, to rebuild the church.”

Some journalists had correctly speculated in advance about the new Pope’s name choice. Read more


World press gathers at papal conclave

The Roman Catholic Church’s cardinal electors will enter the Sistine Chapel at 4:30 p.m. Rome time (11:30 EDT) Tuesday to begin the process of choosing a new pope.

THE PRESS Members of the press will comfortably outnumber cardinals at the conclave. The Pontifical Council for Social Communications from the Holy See says more than 5,000 print reporters (“stampa”) have temporary accreditation.

Among them is Cathleen Falsani, the OC Register’s new faith columnist. Falsani’s first item of business in Rome? A Twitter hat tip to Vatiblogger Rocco Palmo, who is covering the conclave from Philly.

Among the conclarazzi: Reuters photographer Dylan Martinez, who simply has no excuse if he doesn’t get the shot. Read more


How Vatican blogger Rocco Palmo is getting ready to cover the conclave for the next Pope

Rocco Palmo is going to Rome. Not that the author of the blog “Whispers in the Loggia” had much trouble reporting on the Vatican from his usual perch in Philadelphia. But the upcoming conclave to choose the Catholic Church’s next pope offers some obvious advantages to a Vatican reporter who’s present. “The conclave is Rome’s biggest party,” Palmo said by phone from Philly. “Everyone shows up. In Italian culture,” he said, “you get everything done over a drink at lunch.”

Like most on-site Vaticanisti, Palmo speaks Italian. He also writes in Spanish during the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in December, a day celebrated by many Hispanic Catholics and one that’s growing in importance in the U.S. He fanatically covers comings and goings in the church, offers thoughts and analyses on other news and relays the pope’s homilies and statements. Read more

1 Comment

Pope Benedict XVI resigns: What you need to know

Pope Benedict XVI, who is 85, surprised the world Monday morning by announcing he will resign “due to an advanced age.”

• Many news organizations have reported that Pope Gregory XII was the last leader of the Roman Catholic Church to resign, in 1415. However, in this clip NBC Vatican analyst George Weigel says it’s been “717 years” since the last pope abdicated, by which he probably means Celestine V, who resigned 719 years ago, in 1294. Gregory was not the pope for whom was named the Gregorian calendar (that was Gregory XIII) or Gregorian chant (Gregory the Great or Gregory II, opinions differ). XII resigned so the church could unite under a single pope after a schism. He died in 1417. Read more


How to cover the 1 in 5 Americans who say they have ‘no religion’

A new survey by Pew found that nearly 20 percent of Americans say they’re unaffiliated with any religion, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling. Is the country about to be overrun by atheists? Not exactly.

“Part of the study, if you read into it, says it’s not just that people are dropping out of being Protestant” or abandoning religion altogether, said Jaweed Kaleem, who reports on religion for The Huffington Post. “It’s that people are changing the way they talk about religion.”

Nuanced findings such as Pew’s are a challenge to cover, even for people who spend much of their working time in the chiaroscuro world of spiritual differences. Kaleem said he’s noticed most news organizations have played up the study’s findings that Protestants are no longer the majority or the rise of what the study calls “nones” — unaffiliated people including atheists, agnostics, people who describe themselves as “spiritual” and those who said they are “looking for a religion.”

That this category is growing, Kaleem said, does not make his job 20 percent easier. Read more

1 Comment
Page 1 of 212