Behold, this is post No. 4000

thebigdeal72dpiThere is nothing special about this particular GetReligion post, other than the fact that this is post No. 4000 in the history of this here weblog. So this might be a good time to click here and cruise through the "What we do, why we do it" post that announced the birth of the site. Here is how that opens:

Day after day, millions of Americans who frequent pews see ghosts when they pick up their newspapers or turn on television news.

They read stories that are important to their lives, yet they seem to catch fleeting glimpses of other characters or other plots between the lines. There seem to be other ideas or influences hiding there.

One minute they are there. The next they are gone. There are ghosts in there, hiding in the ink and the pixels. Something is missing in the basic facts or perhaps most of the key facts are there, yet some are twisted. Perhaps there are sins of omission, rather than commission.

A lot of these ghosts are, well, holy ghosts. They are facts and stories and faces linked to the power of religious faith. Now you see them. Now you don't. In fact, a whole lot of the time you don't get to see them. But that doesn't mean they aren't there.

Now, there is a rather ironic fact about the timing of post No. 4000. It comes only a few days before another market on this road in cyberspace.

This coming Monday, Feb. 2, marks the fifth anniversary of the birth of the site, when the Rt. Rev. Douglas LeBlanc fired up a humble little corner in Typepad and the two of us started on this interesting journey. We will do what we always do on or around the anniversary date, which is point you toward some of our posts from the previous year that were the most interesting or significant, to each of us as writers.

Meanwhile, here is what we want you to do.

Let's consider this an open thread on whether any of this matters.

Keep it clean, but read that founding essay and give us some feedback on how a tiny pack of hyper-busy, stressed-out stiffs like your GetReligionistas could be doing a better job. Yes, we already know that we need to read all of the major papers in major cities around the world and comment on what we see. We wish we could do so much more.

So be realistic. Tell us about some of your favorite posts. Tell us about some of your least favorite posts. And I'll remind you again, please focus on the journalistic side of all of this.

Go for it.

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