Only 1 in 5 Americans believe journalists are "friendly" toward religion

The Washington Times | Pew | Maynard

19 percent of Americans feel like "reporters and the news media" are "friendly" to religion, a Pew study finds. 38 percent of the respondents thought journalists were "neutral"; 35 percent said they were "unfriendly."

The survey, published Wednesday, was conducted on landline and cell phones in March among 1,503 adults.

The "unfriendly" figure has stayed pretty consistent since 2003, while friendliness has gone up five points since 2009. "Not many headlines, it seems, are inspired by the Creator these days," Jennifer Harper writes in The Washington Times.

Nadra Kareem Nittle says journalists aren't representing evangelicals well by painting them as white and conservative. Journalists, she writes, must "quickly adjust coverage to include all evangelical Christians or risk giving an unfair advantage to candidates supported by the largely conservative, white evangelicals."

Nittle's piece suggests the term "evangelical" is straining under the weight of groups laying claim to it. She's right, of course, that evangelicals are not monolithic. Still, white evangelicals are a large and remarkably coherent group, culturally and politically. Maybe reporters who are friendly to religion could employ a couple of test questions to make sure they know who they're talking to: "Do you own any Switchfoot albums released after 2007," maybe, or "Does your youth pastor own a kilt?"

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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