ERIC Number: ED159707
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Non-Sectarian Religion: An Historical Interpretation of the Shape of Religious News in the American Daily Press.
Nordin, Kenneth D.
A survey of religious news in American newspapers from 1849 through 1960 shows a number of changes in the way such coverage was carried out. Some 1,018 daily and weekly newspapers representing different sized communities, different geographical areas, and different times in the church year made up the sample used for a content analysis of religious news. Until the 1830s and 1840s, religious news was haphazard and depended on the availability of newsgatherers and the flow of the news. Then religious news as a circulation booster was discovered and the systematic coverage of religious news gave rise to the religion page. Three developments made the religion page the dominant location for news of church life: advertising, public relations techniques, and the syndicated inspirational column. The religion page has fostered the image that organized religion is a compartmentalized and tranquil institution in American society as a result of editors' desires not to alienate readers. A study of Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Jewish religious news space indicates that this has been proportional to the presence of those groups in the population of the United States. (TJ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Journalism History; Religious News
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (61st, Seattle, Washington, August 13-16, 1978)