It's logical, if you stop and think about it. Day after day, week after week, month after month, your GetReligionistas focus our time and efforts on news that is published in the mainstream press.
Note: This is news that is PUBLISHED in newspapers, wire services, websites, etc. As opposed to what? News that is NOT published? Precisely.
We do have our "Got news?" thing, which is when we note that something really interesting is happening somewhere in America or the world and the big, elite media (as opposed to, let's say, specialty websites) haven't noticed it yet. Readers send us notes about that kind of thing all the time.
That helps. But let's face it: It's hard to critique coverage that doesn't exist.
With that in mind, let's consider this week's Baltimore Sun coverage of the meetings -- in Baltimore, of course -- of the U.S. Catholic bishops. Here is the lede of the most recent news piece (I just ran another search here during my lunch hour) on these important meetings. Tell me what is interesting about this lede:
Nearly 300 bishops from across the nation will determine the coming year's agenda for the American Roman Catholic church when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops begins its annual fall meeting Monday in Baltimore.
The bishops will spend four days at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Harbor East, where they will hammer out organizational positions and courses of action on matters ranging from schooling and medical care to liturgy and exorcism.
The Baltimore archdiocese, the oldest in the United States, is marking its 225th anniversary this year, a milestone the conference will celebrate with a Mass at the Basilica of the Assumption Monday evening.
Did you notice the time element on this story?
Right. This is an advance story on a major national -- some would say global -- event that is, I repeat myself, being held in Baltimore, as in the same downtown area as the newsroom of The Baltimore Sun.
And what do we get in the newspaper that lands in my front yard? Click here.
So what happened to the coverage? The advance story contains clues. Readers were told:
Most items on the agenda will be more than symbolic. The prelates will weigh several possible changes in liturgy, including new ways of welcoming worshippers with disabilities and a new English translation of the traditional rites of exorcism.
The bishops also will consider guidelines for partnerships between Catholic and non-Catholic hospitals and look at ways to make it easier for disadvantaged children to attend Catholic schools.
That sounds like stuff that mainstream editors will be excited about? Not really. I mean, that stuff is just about, well, church life and Catholics and all that. The exorcism story might be cool enough for coverage. Maybe.
What would have drawn coverage? Back to the advance story:
... (Some) observers are calling this year's agenda items strikingly traditional, especially given the kinds of headline-grabbing statements Pope Francis made about church doctrine at a synod of bishops meeting on the family last month.
Pope Francis rocked Catholics worldwide by suggesting the church should welcome the "gifts and qualities" of gay Catholics and calling on pastors to "avoid any language or behavior" that could be seen as discriminatory against divorced Catholics.
Though he stopped well short of suggesting church doctrine should condone homosexuality or divorce, the pope's words triggered heated debate that has yet to subside.
So what happened to the Sun coverage?
Do the math. The meetings did not contain enough conflict and politics. Instead, they focused on ____________. (Please fill in the blank in our comments pages, focusing on a journalistic answer.)