The Times

Teen sex and pregnancy in UK: The Daily Mail and The Times abstain from discussing religion

Teen sex and pregnancy in UK: The Daily Mail and The Times abstain from discussing religion

“If you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less of something, tax it,” argued Ronald Reagan.

A study released last month in Britain reports this maxim is true not only of economics, but sex. 

The Daily Mail, The Times and other outlets report that claims that cutting government spending on sexual education would lead to a rise in teen pregnancy have been shown to be untrue.

Researchers actually discovered the obverse: cutting sex-ed spending leads to a decline in the rate of teen pregnancies. The question GetReligion readers will want answered, of course, is this: Might there be a religious or moral angle to this news story?

The lede in the May 30, 2017, story in The Times entitled “Teenage pregnancies decline as funding for sex education is cut” states: 

Teenage pregnancy rates have been reduced because of government cuts to spending on sex education and birth control for young women, according to a study that challenges conventional wisdom. The state’s efforts to teach adolescents about sex and make access to contraceptives easier may have encouraged risky behavior rather than curbed it, the research suggests.

The Times story is behind their paywall, but the Daily Mail’s version, entitled “Sex education classes DON'T help to curb teenage pregnancy rates and may encourage youngsters to have unprotected intercourse” lays out the same story.


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Time to wrap up 2016, starting with: 'Religion still matters, whatever your beliefs'

Time to wrap up 2016, starting with: 'Religion still matters, whatever your beliefs'

If you have followed GetReligion through the years, the you know that we never completely close our cyber-doors during the 12 days of the Christmas season -- but we do slow down a bit.

We also mark the end of the religion-news years with quite a bit of commentary from hither and yon about the news events and trends of the year that is ending. We'll post the Religion News Association Top 10 stories list, as well as my annual "On Religion" commentary on that, along with a podcast about both of those. Religion-beat patriarch Richard Ostling has already turned in a pair of memos looking ahead to 2017.

You get the idea. We will also post more than the usual number of think pieces about subjects we assume will be of interest to people who care about the state of religion news and topics linked to that.

So let's start that off with a piece from The Times on the other side of the pond that ran with this GetReligion-friendly double-decker headline:

Religion still matters, whatever your beliefs
From US politics to Middle East terror, it has never been more important to understand how faith shapes our world

Commentator Tim Montgomerie begins with the rather obvious -- now -- observation that Hillary Rodham Clinton probably wishes, when looking back on the year that was, that she had hired a few more people to pay attention to religious voters in the American heartland, especially the Midwest, when picking out the 4,200 members of her campaign staff.

For example, there wasn't a single Clinton campaign staffer -- saith Slate magazine -- who was assigned to investigate the concerns of evangelical Protestants. If Clinton had done half as well with evangelicals as did Barack Obama, she would be president-elect.

So what's the bigger story here? It's the fact that many journalists just don't get religion, of course.

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Does The Times get religion? A highly symbolic reader in England asks the question

Does The Times get religion? A highly symbolic reader in England asks the question

What should bloggers do in the age of higher and higher paywalls at major newspapers?

Frankly, we can't pay to read everything. You know? 

Yes, there are ways to take the URLs for stories and patch them into other programs and read the texts. But does that help the readers of this blog? We are committed -- as often as is possible -- to writing about news articles to which we can link, so that our readers have a chance to read the full texts for themselves (in part to see if our criticisms are valid).

The other day, I bumped into a pair of texts from The Times, as in London, that had been pulled out from behind that particular paywall. I was, of course, pulled in by the headline under which this mini-package ran: "The Times doesn't get religion."

The key text here was a piece about the meeting that the Archbishop of Canterbury has decided to hold in an attempt to deal with a host of doctrinal and discipline issues in his tense global Communion. Click here (and then here) to read some GetReligion pieces about coverage of this story. Can Archbishop Justin Welby save the Anglican Communion in any form that retains a true sense of Eucharistic Communion? 

The Times weighed in on that. First, let's look at a chunk of the Times piece and then we'll look at a really, really interesting letter to the editor that it inspired.

For more than a decade the Church of England has been consumed by backbiting and threats of schism as it debated the contentious issues of women bishops, gay clergy and scriptural literalism.

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Is the pope Catholic?: The best tweets about that viral correction from The Times of London

Is the pope Catholic?: The best tweets about that viral correction from The Times of London


Glad I wasn't the one who made that mistake!

That is, of course, the reaction of relieved journalists everywhere who didn't — unlike The Times of London — report the pope wasn't Catholic and then have to correct it.

Those of us not facing a barrage of "Do bears poop in the woods?" jokes from readers delighted in The Times' embarrassment and reveled in their misery — in witty bursts of 140 characters or less.

Hey, if it helps, British friends, we were equally amused when The New York Times reported that Moses parted the Dead Sea.

With apologies, we might as well enjoy some of our favorite tweets about this week's viral correction:


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Instructing v. reporting on gay clergy from The Times

What’s the difference between advocacy journalism and classical, liberal, some would say “objective” journalism? Advocacy journalism tells you what you should think about a news story while old-school liberal journalism sets out the facts of the story and lets you make up your own mind. The first method produces copy that fits a pre-determined template. The second is rooted in professional standards in which professionals strive for accuracy, balance, fairness, etc.

A comparison of the coverage by The Times and The Scotsman of this week’s vote by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to allow gay clergy succinctly illustrates the assumptions and agenda of these two schools. While both articles give the same essential fact pattern, The Times tells you what you should think about the vote, while The Scotsman lays out the facts and gives voice to the participants — letting you decide.

The story entitled “Desire for church unity opens way for gay clergy” on the front page of the Scottish edition of The Times begins:

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On St. Ruth and the state of Fleet Street religion news

Sad news to report from the Press Gazette, the trade newspaper for British journalism. On May 16 it announced The Times was eliminating its religious affairs correspondent post, and Ruth Gledhill would be leaving the newspaper after 27 years of reporting on religion. The Times decision to make redundant the religion spot means that there are will no longer be a reporter dedicated to covering religion on Fleet Street. The Press Gazette reported:

Fleet Street is to lose its last religious affairs correspondent next week when Ruth Gledhill leaves The Times. Gledhill has confirmed her position is being made redundant as she leaves the paper after 27 years.

The Daily Telegraph has a social and religious affairs editor, John Bingham, but Gledhill is believed to be the last full-time UK national newspaper reporter dedicated to covering religion. Meanwhile, Caroline Wyatt was appointed as the BBC News’s religious affairs correspondent after seven years working as a defence correspondent for the corporation last week. She replaces Robert Pigott, who is moving to become a BBC news correspondent.

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Finding a faith angle in the Ukraine

A spate of wire service photos from the demonstrations in Kiev may have awakened the Western press to the religious element in the protests. As GetReligion‘s editor tmatt has noted, photojournalism has led the way. The pictures from Kiev are telling a fascinating story — but unless you know what you are seeing and can interpret the images or place them in their political and religious context, you will not understand what is happening.

The “Eurorevolution” as some Ukrainian newspapers have dubbed the protests is about economics, politics, national identity, and religion. It is being articulated in protests over a trade agreements. Yet the dispute has as just as much to do with the Soviet past and the present battle over gay rights in Russia.

However, the press has so far been unable to get its head round all this. The stories I have seen rarely address more than one of these topics at a time and then do so from an American/English perspective.

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Mau-mauing The Times of London

The Archbishop of Canterbury has stated the Church of England was  moving away from using faith as a criteria for admission to its church-supported schools, The Times of London reported last week.

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Intended consequences -- The Times & Jewish Jerusalem

Choosing determines all human decisions. In making his choice man chooses not only between various material things and services. All human values are offered for option. All ends and all means, both material and ideal issues, the sublime and the base, the noble and the ignoble, are ranged in a single row and subjected to a decision which picks out one thing and sets aside another. Nothing that men aim at or want to avoid remains outside of this arrangement into a unique scale of gradation and preference.

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