layoffs

Friday Five: March Madness miracle, faith at the movies, newspaper layoffs and more

Friday Five: March Madness miracle, faith at the movies, newspaper layoffs and more

Go ahead and enjoy the video.

It's MercyMe's official music video for the "I Can Only Imagine" movie, which opens in theaters nationwide today.

Speaking of which, USA Today has an interesting story on how that song became the biggest Christian single ever (selling 2.5 million copies) and inspired the movie.

Promoters showed the trailer at the Religion News Association annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn., last fall, and it looks interesting. The film stars Dennis Quaid, who talked to Parade about finding inspiration in the real-life story.

As we dive into this week's Friday Five, we'll highlight another faith angle on a Hollywood hit.

But first, a bit of March Madness:

1. Religion story of the week: A divine 3-pointer won the game at the buzzer. That's how the Chicago Tribune characterized 11th-seeded Loyola's 64-62 upset win Thursday over No. 6 seed Miami in the NCAA Tournament.

Enter Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, whose fans include former President Barack Obama:

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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!!!???:

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