Religion news coverage is suffering, says journalism professor

"The collapse of an institution"
The 21st-century world cannot be understood without an understanding of religion, says religion journalist–turned-professor Gustav Niebuhr.

“It’s a terrible irony that religion is so prominent in the world and yet so absent from the news,” Niebuhr told a May gathering in Indianapolis of the Associated Church Press and the Evangelical Press Association.

An associate professor at Syracuse University teaching both religion and journalism, Niebuhr said that since his days as national religion reporter at the New York Times (1994-2001), newspapers have been cutting back on news about religion and the civil society with which it intersects.

“The coverage of religion news is suffering,” said Niebuhr. He warned that the recent closures of newspapers such as the Seattle Post Intelligencer and Colorado’s Rocky Mountain News and the near-closure of the Boston Globe were a pointer to “the collapse of an institution.”


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