I noticed a Zenit piece today on the ignorance of the press on religion. Rather damning is the WaPo’s ad for a religion reporter several years back:
The “ideal candidate,” it said, is “not necessarily religious nor an expert in religion.”
First off, let me say that almost all of the secular press is indeed ignorant of religion. Ditto science, history, music, the arts, and probably lots of things I don’t know much about … like economics, politics, and local news.
Second, the institutional Church isn’t too keen on knowledge and competence, either. Did you catch the resumes of the new and immediate past heads of the CDWDS? Scripture, fundamental theology, CDF, interreligious dialogue. Liturgy expertise as bishops. One might equate bishops and liturgy experts with journalists and religion experts.
Let’s get back to the Zenit story. I think it’s possible for journalists to report outside of areas of their competence. But probably not for long. And not without a basic posture of curiosity and a willingness to learn or … investigate.
Investigative journalism … now there’s a concept.
Let’s finish with the press. Most of the tv and big print media is geared to profit, bottom line, and journalism when it pays. Or at best when it doesn’t interfere with profit. That’s why the WaPo and other media organs can hire non-experts. It’s more important to look good than to be good.
What’s the curia’s excuse?