Tapping a Godbeat site down under

stephen crittendenIt's hard for an American to come away from a meeting with international journalists without feeling a bit, well, guilty. I try to keep up with the news, but I know that my grasp of international affairs is still weak. Spending a few days in Oxford discussing news trends with people from Nigeria, Kenya, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan, Peru, Norway and a few other nations is a sobering experience.

I also feel guilty, from time to time, about the lack of international news content here at GetReligion. However, I have to admit that international items seem to draw less feedback from readers. One glance at a Google chart that shows the location of our readers also shows the obvious -- most of our 2,000 to 3,000 readers a day are in North America.

This probably is a chicken-and-egg, Catch-22 situation. Which comes first? More international coverage or more international readers?

Anyway, all of this is a setup to introduce you to a site that I bumped into the other day -- offering transcripts and links to The Religion Report's broadcasts on ABC Radio National in Australia. The host is Stephen Crittenden (pictured) and he has been at this for almost a decade.

As you would expect, there is a heavy emphasis on global affairs -- from the ecological views of the Orthodox Patriarch in Istanbul, to a topic that we discussed quite a bit during my visit to Oxford, "Freedom of Religion in Malaysia?" Australia is also a major player in Anglican affairs, which affects quite a few shows. Here is a sample of a recent interview transcript, in which Crittenden talks with veteran British journalist Andrew Brown about the efforts to find a compromise between liberal Episcopalians and conservative African Anglicans.

The host starts with the obvious question: How's Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams doing, during the current crisis (cue: swirl of cathedral pipe organ)?

Andrew Brown: Well I don't think it's a dispute that anyone could have handled well. I mean to handle it well you'd have to have people on both sides, or even on one side who were interested in compromise, or who seriously thought they might be wrong. That isn't the case.

Stephen Crittenden: Nonetheless, wasn't it always going to be a pretty tall order to think that the Episcopalians would repent? They never had any intention of repenting, did they, of electing a gay bishop?

Andrew Brown: No, of course they're not going to repent, because to repent implies you think you've done something wrong, and they don't think they have, or most of them don't think they have. Similarly it's a bit of a stretch however often it's put in the documents to expect the conservatives to listen to gay or lesbian people because they have no intention of doing so.

Well, that is certainly opinionated stuff, shooting in both directions. However, the reports at this site also include quite a few links to other sites, documents, etc. Check it out. And let us know other global Godbeat sites that you find helpful.

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