NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: If you were working on the religion beat these days, especially if you were still new on the beat, wouldn't you welcome advice from someone who had excelled at this work at the highest levels for decades?
I recently had a long talk in New York City with Richard Ostling -- by all means review his bio here -- to ask if, along with his Religion Guy Q&A pieces, he would to experiment with memos in which he offered his observations on what was happening, or what might happen, with stories and trends on the beat. He said he might broaden that, from time to time, with observations on writing about religion -- period.
To which I said, "Amen." -- tmatt
In all too many weeks, the Saturday “Beliefs” column provides the only coverage of religion in The New York Times. The influential daily’s Nov. 8 item dealt with World, an unusual Christian magazine because it covers mostly general news rather than just parochial topics. This biweekly for those wanting “Christian worldview reporting that reinforces their core beliefs” has a conservative slant on politics as well as faith. A recent GetReligion post by our own tmatt, for example, noted his differences with the journalistic philosophy of World Editor in Chief Marvin Olasky.
Sadly, investigative reporting has suffered greatly with media downsizing and the Times rightly commends that aspect of World’s work. Religious periodicals generally don’t rake muck, especially about folks sharing their ideology.