Let me be candid for a moment: Some of the implications of the topics we discussed in this week's "Crossroads" podcast (click here to tune that in) blindsided me and, toward the end of the session with host Todd Wilken, I got rather emotional.
We are talking about two things -- one in journalism, one in religious faith -- that I believe are tragedies.
First, we have the fact that Americans these days are not very interested in world news. Any journalist in the past third of a century or so who has looked at reader-interest polling knows this. As a rule, Americans don't know much about what is happening around the world and we are not all that worried that we don't know it. In my experience, this includes readers who are religious believers as well, I am afraid. Hold that thought.
This sad reality has, during the Internet-driven advertising crisis that is shaking the world of journalism, led media managers to make major cuts in the resources they dedicate to foreign news, as opposed to click-bait celebrity coverage and national political horse races.
The second thing that jumped into this discussion -- #NoSurprise -- is that many journalists just don't get religion. In light of the realities just discussed, they have little incentive to spend much time or money covering complex religious issues on the other side of the world.
This obvious fact led to another sad theme in our discussion: Some of the powerful newsrooms that DO have the resources to cover world news (and are justifiably proud that they do this crucial work) also seem to place little value on getting religion. Let me stress that I am talking about their editors and foreign staffers, not the one or at most two people on the religion beat at The New York Times, the BBC and other elite and truly world-class operations.
This brings us to #ChibokGirls and the subject of persecuted Christians, and members of other religious minorities, around the world.
Connect the dots.