Religion and Society: From Yahweh to Yahoo!: The Religious Roots of the Secular Press

February 23, 2003

Source: Los Angeles Times,1,5379800.story

On February 23, 2003 the Los Angeles Times reported that "people of faith have long complained that the mainstream news media pay too little attention to religion -- except, of course, when there's a controversy or a scandal, like the ongoing story on priests as sexual predators. Absent such a scandal -- or the death of a pope and the election of his successor -- the news media often seem indifferent to, ignorant of and, at times, downright hostile toward religion... Television news programs virtually ignore religion, and even good newspapers with weekly religion pages and full-time religion writers don't consistently give religion the kind of serious attention throughout the paper that would seem warranted by the 'powerful role' it plays in the lives of most Americans, says Doug Underwood, in his recent book From Yahweh to Yahoo!: The Religious Roots of the Secular Press... Indeed, media coverage of not just religion but also of politics, science, psychology and technology, among other subjects, would be 'much better if journalists better understood the role religion plays as a motivating force in so many areas of society,' says Underwood, a former reporter, who's an associate professor of communications at the University of Washington."