Several months ago, your Religionistas created a feature called "Got news?" Ever since, we have been trying to explain to people what this slugline does and does not mean. For starters, we rarely if every write about op-ed page essays, unless they are specifically about topics of interest to religion-beat professionals. Also, we hardly ever write about articles published in religious-market publications or denominational wire services, even though many are essential reading for anyone on this beat.
But, but, but ...
You see, sometimes there are real, live, important news stories hidden in those op-eds -- stories that, for some strange reason, newsrooms have not addressed with ink and dead tree pulp (or even digital ink). And sometimes the denominational wire services cover very important stories that, once again, mainstream newsrooms have missed. It happens.
What are we supposed to do then? In a way, we're talking about perfect examples of GetReligion "ghosts," important religion-news stories that have been missed by the mainstream.
Thus, "Got news?" was born. But we do try to play by some strict rules.
Whenever possible, we try to write about op-eds and denominational reports that are built on newsworthy speeches, forums and public documents that certainly COULD have been covered by the mainstream. We also strive to point readers toward items that are directly related to some of the hottest subjects of the day. In other words, real words and events about real news that, somehow, are passed over.
Well, sports fans, here is a great example of this whole genre, an archetypal "God news?" item if I ever saw one. This one is taken from one of those "conservative news" outlets -- ChristianPost.com -- that focus their work on collisions between religion and politics. This happens on the left, too. But lots of time the blind spots are on the cultural right. Thus, we end up with "conservative," openly advocacy journalism about topics that deserve mainstream coverage.
Ready? Here's the top of the story. Read it all.
A Catholic nurse who was forced against her will to assist in a late-term abortion procedure has filed a lawsuit against New York's Mount Sinai Hospital.
With the legal help of Alliance Defense Fund, Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo filed the complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. ... Federal law states that hospitals that receive tax dollars cannot under any circumstances force employees to participate in abortion procedures.
"Pro-life nurses shouldn't be forced to assist in abortions against their beliefs," said ADF legal counsel Matt Bowman. ... "Requiring a devout, Catholic nurse to participate in a late-term abortion in order to remain employed is illegal, unethical, and violates her rights of conscience."
He added, "[T]his nurse's objections fell on deaf ears."
So let's work through the list.
Document? Check. More than one of them, in fact, starting with the lawsuit itself.
Hot, newsworthy topic? Check. More than one of them, again, in this time of debate about conscience clauses and guidelines and advisory panels for regional health-care cooperatives and a possible national government network for health care.
Got news? Let us know if you found anything out there in the mainstream press, even references to this lawsuit in broader stories on conscience-clause issues.