Kay Campbell

Livin' on a prayer: The good, the bad and the ugly in the world of religion writers, circa 2015

Livin' on a prayer: The good, the bad and the ugly in the world of religion writers, circa 2015

I won't bury the lede. The ugly is me.

I ate too many sausage biscuits and cheeseburgers this year as I feverishly cranked out four GetReligion posts a week. (Note to self: Must exercise more and eat less in 2016.)

But oh, I do love this part-time gig and count it a blessing to work with the likes of Terry Mattingly, Jim Davis, Julia Duin, Richard Ostling and Ira Rifkin.

While we at GetReligion mostly critique media coverage of religion news, we like to keep readers updated on happenings on the Godbeat itself.

Here are seven developments — some good, others bad — from 2015:

1. Jennifer Berry Hawes rocked — totally rocked — coverage of the mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.

Please respect our Commenting Policy

Media org wants to cover Bible Belt 'culture' better, so it lays off religion writer — huh!?

Media org wants to cover Bible Belt 'culture' better, so it lays off religion writer — huh!?

Face it: When corporate bean counters lay off journalists under the guise of improving journalism, the justifications are always going to sound idiotically silly.

Enter the Alabama Media Group.

Poynter.org reports:

Several employees at Alabama Media Group have been laid off, the Advance-owned regional media company announced Tuesday.
In a memo to staffers announcing the cuts, Alabama Media Group executive Michelle Holmes said between five and nine positions will be eliminated in each of the company’s main sites across the state.
“We know many of you will say goodbye to trusted colleagues and friends,” Holmes wrote. “We wish the best for those who leave our organization today and thank them for their dedication and good work.”
In a release, Alabama Media Group said the cuts will be accompanied by an increased focus on core areas of coverage including breaking news, high school and college sports and Alabama culture. 

So the Alabama Media Group wants to put an increased focus on covering "Alabama culture?"

Alabama, where 46 percent of residents attend religious services every week (ranking that Deep South state third out of 50).

Alabama, where 57 percent of residents describe themselves as "very religious" (again, No. 3 among the 50 states).

Obviously, the best way to bolster coverage of "Alabama culture" is to, you know, lay off a talented, seasoned, hard-working religion writer. 

Right?

Wait — huh!!!???:

Please respect our Commenting Policy