Friday Five: Ethical question, 'Uncle Teddy,' faith-free aliens, Muslim swimmers and more

I have a question for you, dear reader.

It's not directly related to religion, but it is about journalism — and GetReligion has a lot of smart readers who either work in the news business or care deeply about it.

Via Peggy Fletcher Stack, the religion writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, I came across a chilling column written by the widow of a reporter killed in the Capital Gazette shooting. 

I was struck by Andrea Chamblee's repeated references to news media — the New York Daily News, ABC's "Good Morning America," the Wall Street Journal — that contacted Chamblee right after the shooting even before she knew anything about the fate of her husband, John McNamara.

I know journalists have a job to do. I've interviewed countless loved ones of people killed in various tragedies. But must reporters call people such as Andrea Chamblee almost immediately? Is there not a better way to give victims a voice yet not intrude on their humanity in such a desperate time?

I'd welcome your thoughts and insights.

In the meantime, let's dive into the Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: As GetReligion editor Terry Mattingly noted earlier today, the New York Times has a new story out on the latest accusation facing disgraced Roman Catholic Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick.

The Times story is a must read, as is tmatt's commentary ("Fire keeps falling: 'Uncle Teddy' the DC cardinal faces the reality of Matthew 18:6") and my colleague Julia Duin's earlier post ("Cardinal Ted McCarrick, Part II: The New York Times takes a stab at this old story").

2. Most popular GetReligion post: tmatt's post titled "Faith-free thinking about aliens: Oxford experts say we probably are all alone in universe" occupies the No. 1 spot this week.

Come on, people: It's been way too long since one of my own posts earned mention in this space. I welcome any and all readers, aliens included.

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): If you missed it, this week's case of Muslim swimmers asked to leave a public pool in Wilmington, Del., makes for thought-provoking reading.

The Delaware News Journal detailed the facts in a story that quickly gained the mayor's attention.

4. Shameless plug: What a week for me! Two legends of the Godbeat — tmatt and my former Associated Press colleague Richard Ostling — both responded to questions I raised.

Be sure to see tmatt's post on "Bias flashback: Should religious leaders risk talking to reporters? (A tmatt response)" and Ostling's post on "Perennial issue whenever journalists write about religion: Which Bible to quote?"

5. Final thought: As you can tell from the photo above, there's a chance I need to clean my desk. So I'll stop typing and get right on that.

Happy Friday, everybody!

Enjoy the weekend!


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