This is a tiny snatch from the draft of a chapter I have written for a book on religion and journalism. (Declaration of interest: I am an atheist). I once presented a BBC documentary on the subject and last year spoke at a conference on religion and news. I have remained fascinated by it ever since. I welcome any comments, references, links or suggestions on the topic.
“People of faith who want better mediation of their lives and beliefs need to be part of that sort of networked journalism – and not just with Religion Correspondents. Those within the religious institutions need to make their communications just as transparent, participatory and connected.
This is a practical and an ethical imperative.
This is a wonderful time for people who think media can promote understanding. There has never been more media and much of it has global reach thanks to the Internet. People are more educated and equipped to engage if given the opportunity and incentive.
But this is a dreadful time for people who think the media is there to promote only what they think.
There is more competition for people’s attention than ever before. So if you want to be heard you have to be where people are talking, rather than expect them to come to you. That is what networked journalists like Ruth Gledhill have learnt.
As a priest recently told me, this is what Jesus did when he took his message (the Good News) out to where ordinary people lived. The rabbinical tradition is also very much one of interactive dialogue rather than one-way sermonizing.”