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Items of interest

"Should newsrooms be more diverse when it comes to religious faith and practice? I am constantly asked if, in particular, it would help if there were more traditional, 'devout,' practicing members of major faith groups. By all means, yes. But this is not because only 'believers' can cover religion. What we need in newsrooms are more people who bring knowledge, experience, and sensitivity into the news process. The goal is to miss fewer obvious stories and mess up fewer obvious facts...

"'Even the agnostic cannot fail to notice that the headlines and airwaves are full of religion,' commentator Bill Moyers once said at Harvard Divinity School. Yet newscasts are so full of the 'confused and condescending commentary of the religiously tone-deaf that there is little room for the authentic voices of religiously engaged people to be heard. So our ears are not trained to hear.'

"While teaching at Denver Seminary, I used three simple questions to help pastors study the power of mass media over their flocks. I urged them to ask: How do my people spend their time? How do they spend their money? How do they make their decisions?

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