Faith and the Media

1998 Faith and the Media Conference
Plenary Addresses

Opening session address

Keynote address 

Is there faith in Canada and do the media care?

A snap-shot of religious coverage in Canada

The state of faith coverage in Canada - a broad perspective

The future of faith coverage in Canada

Where do we go from here?

Opening session address
By Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic, Archbishop of Toronto There is almost an inevitable tension between Christian faith and the media which goes deeper than accurate or inaccurate reporting.
Keynote address 
By Peggy Wehmeyer , Religion Reporter for ABC World News Tonight: Why the Media Need to Pay Attention to What People Believe. Religion is one of the last great frontiers of news coverage. There are a wealth of stories still untold. Until we tell them, we're only giving our audience a small part of the whole story.
Is there faith in Canada and 
do the media care?

Does the media care?  When we raise the question of whether faith matters to Canadians, the answer is yes. Does media care? Not that much, but to the extent that it does, it focuses on what people care about. Professor Reginald Bibby, author of Fragmented Gods.
It's time to rethink coverage  It's time to rethink faith coverage, to shift our glasses, get our prescriptions checked, change the lens, enlarge the picture about the role of faith in Canada. Faith is not equal to organized religion in Canada.  Andrew Grenville, Senior Vice-President for Global Research, Angus Reid
More than one view  One of the problems with covering religion is that people who are religious tend to believe things as absolutes. The difference between [the media] and religious groups is that we believe that there can be more than one view on these kinds of things. Nicholas Hirst, editor, Winnipeg Free Press.
A snap-shot of religious 
coverage in Canada

What would a visitor from another planet understand about religion in Canada by reading newspapers? Lois Sweet.
The state of faith coverage in Canada - 
a broad perspective

Contemporary North American news media are almost obsessed by religion, but these news media regard the organized religions of our society as being useless and almost irrelevant in helping them to treat these themes.Peter Desbarats
The future of faith 
coverage in Canada

A daily journal of moral conduct A newspaper is a daily journal of moral conduct. Neil Reynolds, editor, Ottawa Citizen
A failure to understand One of the largest gulfs between the media and our audiences today is our failure to understand quickly enough the regeneration of interest in faith and spirituality . . . the media that goes the greatest distance to narrowing that gulf will prove to be the most successful in the next decade. Kirk Lapointe, former editor, Hamilton Spectator
Where do we go from here?

What can journalists and faith groups do to improve faith coverage in the mainstream media? A veteran journalist provides a few suggestions. Lois Sweet.
Simply part of doing the job well The news media ought to pay attention to religious dimensions of stories they are already covering . . . coverage of religion is simply part of doing their job well.John Stackhouse,  professor, Regent College and former columnist, Winnipeg Free Press.
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