Worldwide: Survey shows up poor reporting on faith and religion
A survey of 9,000 people from 18 different countries found that there is “a clear global deficit in coverage, treatment and quality of understanding of faith and religion in modern media”.
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In an article dated 21 September 2022, Premier Christian News reported that a survey of 9,000 people from 18 different countries found that there is “a clear global deficit in coverage, treatment and quality of understanding of faith and religion in modern media”. The study, which was commissioned by the Faith and Media Initiative, revealed that “53% of people think news media actively ignores religion as an aspect of society and culture today ; 61% of people say media coverage often perpetuates faith-based stereotypes rather than addressing and protecting against them; 56% of people agree there should be more nuanced coverage of complex religious issues.”
World Watch Research analyst Andreea Denes comments: “At its best, media plays an educational and cultural role in society. Both cutbacks in coverage and ‘religious illiteracy’ among journalists can potentially have a negative impact on Christians and churches. If there is a lack of reports on violent incidents or poor knowledge about specific faiths and how they shape behavior or how they cooperate with state authorities, this can lead to greater misunderstanding and intolerance of Christians and their faith-based views, for instance, and could also lead to more violence targeting churches. It is hoped that this survey will serve as a shock and increase investment in educating journalists. It should also encourage a greater engagement of Christians in this field.”
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