Article on the Media and Christianity Up at Christianity Today Online Dec 12 (Updated Dec 14)

Darrell L. Bock's picture

As many of you know I do a lot of media work. Often the media is blamed for how Christians are portrayed. My own take on this question is more complex. I have been interviewed hundreds of times and can count on one hand the times I have been "edited" or handled unprofessionally. The media sees its calling as reflecting what takes place in the public square. This means two things automatically: (1) it is drawn to what is new out there and (2) media discussions of religion are often in a point-counter point format. I am often asked at the end of an interview who is on the other side of the question I am discussing. I often know personally the people who are interviewed to represent the other side. I do not expect a defense of my views in a piece, but that I am accurately represented. It is my job to present my own view clearly and the media's job is to try to select what is representative of what I tell them. (I always know they will interview me for far longer than what they can or will use. That is the way it works when stories run from 90 seconds to 8 minutes on average. All they can use usually is a few sentences [I am speaking of TV or the news here; newspaper stories are little different; when one switches to the Net or radio, then there is more time and space]). So how should the church view what happens in the media, especially when they report "new things" about Jesus and early Christianity (The Gospel of Judas is an example of the very situation I have in mind)? I have addressed this in an article that is highlighted today on the Christianity Today online site. The article is entitled "When the Media Became a Nuisance". The banner line is now "Debunking Jesus Hype". In it I discuss what the new media realities mean for those in the church and how to process fresh news about Jesus or Chrisitianity in the new instant, new claims world of digital media and cable television. If you are interested go to:http://www.christianitytoday.com/The article will be the lead today, but should be up on the Christianity Today page for the next week before it is archived. The article is also in the December edition of CT. Christianity Today, December 2007 cover    

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