Life & Faith: The Elephant NOT in the Room

The decline of good reporting on religion matters.

The relationship between religion and the media in the West has a long history. The first newspapers were often printed on the very same presses that were used to publish Bibles, and the first radio broadcast on Christmas Eve in 1906 included a reading from the Bible.

But times have certainly changed. If you look at the media landscape today, there’s not a lot of room for religion.

In this episode of Life & Faith, we’ve enlisted the help of a couple of experts to guide us through the world of religion in the media. First up, the former Religious Affairs Editor for The Age in Melbourne, Barney Zwartz, looks back on his time as a religion reporter and why he’s now a fierce advocate for good reporting on religion. Then, a former journalist for The New York Times, Ari Goldman, explains why he took a year off reporting to search for God – at Harvard.

“So much of religion is good, and we’re just constantly reporting on the religion that’s bad,” says Ari Goldman, “so what I try to do is tell the good religion story, without ignoring the bad one, but putting it all in perspective – and I think that’s our responsibility as journalists and as citizens, just to know the difference.”

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