Gov. Phil Bryant

Journalism 101 lesson: What's wrong with this story on challenged Mississippi law?

Journalism 101 lesson: What's wrong with this story on challenged Mississippi law?

If you read GetReligion regularly, you know that we advocate a traditional American model of the press.

Under that model, journalists report news in a fair, impartial manner with statements of fact attributed to named sources.

When a news organization frames a story in such a way that clearly favors one side, it obviously fails to meet that standard.

Such is the case with Reuters' slanted coverage this week of a judge's decision concerning a challenged Mississippi law.

Did Mississippi, in fact, pass an "anti-LGBT law?" That is one side's perspective. But the other side argues that the measure is, in fact, a religious liberty law.

GetReligion has, of course, written about the Mississippi debate a time or two. Or three or four. Or, well, you get the idea

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This surprising thing happens when AP quotes real people on guns in churches

This surprising thing happens when AP quotes real people on guns in churches

In a 650-word news story, one doesn't expect a deep exploration of theological questions associated with "God and guns."

The Associated Press' report on Mississippi's new Church Protection Act certainly doesn't provide one.

But on the positive side, I was pleasantly surprised by what could have been a routine bill-signing story:

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A holstered gun sat on top of a Bible on Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant's desk Friday when he signed a law allowing guns in churches, which he said would help protect worshippers from potential attackers.
The Church Protection Act allows places of worship to designate members to undergo firearms training so they can provide armed security for their congregations. It specifies that those designated can carry guns into church buildings and gives them legal protections.
The law also loosens gun permit requirements by allowing people to carry holstered weapons without a permit, making Mississippi the ninth state with such a law, said NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter.
The Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police says that part of the bill dismantles the state's licensing system and makes it harder to check if someone with a gun is a violent criminal. Other opponents say it endangers people by putting more guns in untrained hands.

Yes, that inverted-pyramid lede qualifies as pretty conventional.

But after that, the story improves.

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