I have to admit that I had mixed feelings when the Rt. Rev. Douglas Leblanc, co-founder of this weblog long ago, dropped me a note to let me know that GetReligion had been selected as one of the top 100 "religion blogs" in a report by the Social Science Research Council. Why the mixed feelings?
You see, we are constantly having to tell remind people that we are not really a "religion blog," we are a journalism blog. To get specific about it, we are a weblog that focuses on how journalists struggle to cover the world of religion. We try to praise the good and dissect the bad in an attempt -- some call us naive -- to improve things in the mainstream press.
However, the actual item at The Immanent Frame that explains this particular list of 100 blogs -- "The new landscape of the religion blogosphere" -- put things in a better context for me:
... This report surveys nearly 100 of the most influential blogs that contribute to an online discussion about religion in the public sphere and the academy. It places this religion blogosphere in the context of the blogosphere as a whole, maps out its contours, and presents the voices of some of the bloggers themselves. For those new to the world of blogs, there is an overview of what blogging is and represents (section 1). The already-initiated can proceed directly to the in-depth analyses of academic blogging (section 2), where religion blogs stand now, and where they may go in the future (sections 3 and 4).
The purpose at hand is to foster a more self-reflective, collaborative, and mutually-aware religion blogosphere. Ideally, this report will spark discussion among religion bloggers that will take their work further, while also inviting new voices from outside existing networks to join in and take part.
That fourth section includes a list of religion bloggers that took part in the study. Yes, GetReligion took part, in some way, since young master Brad Greenberg and the Divine Ms. MZ Hemingway are in the list. This is interesting to me, since neither of them ever mentioned that to me. Maybe there are other things going on around here that I know nothing about. You think?
Anyway, GetReligion earns this description (scroll down in the list):
Written by a team of seasoned journalists who lean conservative, GetReligion carries on an ongoing commentary about how religion is portrayed in the media. Posts include analysis of one or more particular news stories, shedding light on the reporting and editorial processes that were going on behind the scenes and offering pointed critique. Comments threads are active and usually substantive.
That "conservative" label is certainly accurate, if they are describing your GetReligionistas when it comes to matters of faith and doctrine. We are also very "conservative" when it comes to the basics of journalism.
However, I just looked up at the framed portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt that is above my desk and asked the old Democrat if he thought that word fit me, when it comes to politics. He said that the label was too simplistic. Honest, that's what he said.
Anyway, note the blurbs reference that, "Comments threads are active and usually substantive."
Make it so. Let's treat this as an open thread on the state of blogging about religion and religion news. Point out the crucial sites in 100 list and, if you wish, give us URLs for others that you thought deserved to make the cut.