- Edited by Jolyon Mitchell, Edinburgh University, UK and Owen Gower, Cumberland Lodge, UK
In Religion and the News journalists and religious leaders reflect on their interactions with one another and their experiences of creating news. Through a series of original contributions, leading practitioners shed light on how religious stories emerge into the public domain. Experienced journalists and religious representatives from different faith traditions critically consider their role in a rapidly evolving communicative environment.
Aimed at journalists, faith representatives, religious leaders, academics and students this book offers a timely exploration of the current state of religious news coverage and makes an original contribution to the emerging media, religion and culture literature, as well as to media and communication studies. Religion and the News presents insights from leading journalists and religious leaders, many well-known figures, writing openly about their experiences.
Contributors include: Jolyon Mitchell, Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues Edinburgh University; Christopher Landau, Religious Affairs Correspondent, BBC World Service; Andrew Brown, The Guardian; Professor Lord Harries of Pentregarth, former Bishop of Oxford; Dr Indarjit Singh, Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations; Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, Director, Jewish Information and Media Service; Imam Monawar Hussain, Muslim Tutor, Eton College; Charlie Beckett, Director, Polis; Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent, The Times; Catherine Pepinster, Editor, The Tablet; Riazat Butt, Religious Affairs Correspondent, The Guardian; Professor the Worshipful Mark Hill QC, Barrister and Fellow, Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff University.
Contents: Introduction, Owen Gower and Jolyon Mitchell; Section 1 Understanding Religion and the News: Religion and the news: stories, contexts, journalists and audiences, Jolyon Mitchell; Religion in the British media today, Teemu Taira, Elizabeth Poole and Kim Knott; Religion, news and social context: evidence from newspapers, Robin Gill; A relationship worth getting right, Paul Woolley. Section 2 Covering Religion: What the media thinks about religion: a broadcast perspective, Christopher Landau; Mirrors to the world, Ruth Gledhill; Networked religion, Charlie Beckett; Religion and the specialist press, Catherine Pepinster; Cumberland blues, Andrew Brown. Section 3 Representing Religion and the News: Islam and the news, Monawar Hussain; Speaking on behalf of God…, Jonathan Romain; Respect, religion and the news, Indarjit Singh; Popular media, news and religion, Roger Royle; Reconciling religion in worlds of violence, Ruth Scott. Section 4 Contesting Religion and the News: Religion and new media: changing the story, Simon Barrow; Taking offence: free speech, blasphemy and the media, Jonathan Heawood; Law, religion and the media: more spinned against than spinning?, Mark Hill; Towards a theology of news, Richard Harries; Conclusion: the futures of religion and the news, Jolyon Mitchell and Owen Gower; Select annotated bibliography, Teemu Taira and Jolyon Mitchell; Index.
About the Editor: Dr Jolyon Mitchell is the director of CTPI (Centre for Theology and Public Issues); a senior lecturer in Communications, Theology and Ethics; and Head (convenor) of the Theology & Ethics Subject Area at the School of Divinity, New College, Edinburgh University. Prior to this he worked as a producer and journalist for BBC World Service and Radio 4. Educated at Cambridge, Durham and Edinburgh Universities he is the author of: Media Violence and Christian Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and Visually Speaking: Radio and the Renaissance of Preaching (T&T Clark, 1999/2000); co-editor of the Religion and Film Reader (Routledge, 2007) and Mediating Religion: Conversations in Media, Religion and Culture (Continuum, 2003). He is co-editor of two monograph series on topics related to Media, Religion and Culture, and author of numerous articles and book chapters. He is currently working on: Inciting Violence, Promoting Peace: The Role of Media and Religion (Routledge, forthcoming) which is based on a series of international case studies, including analysis of the use of different media during the Iran-Iraq War, the Rwandan Genocide, and post-Apartheid South Africa. He enjoys teaching undergraduates and postgraduates in Edinburgh and working with other groups around the UK and beyond.
Dr Owen Gower is Senior Fellow at Cumberland Lodge, an educational charity specialising in cross-sector co-operation on matters affecting the development of society. Owen was educated at St John's College, Durham and King's College London where, in 2008, he completed a PhD in Philosophy (Philosophy and Philosophical Method in Plato's Phaedo). His research focuses on questions in epistemology and belief. He also has a developing interest in applied ethics, having written and edited a number of Lodge publications on topics such as pacificism, public perceptions of crime, and the value of higher education. An experienced editor, project manager and administrator, Owen takes the lead in organising the conference programme at Cumberland Lodge.
Reviews: ‘At a time when religion is ever more prominent in national and international events, it is important for the public to understand it in all its complexity. The news media are central to this, and this fine volume details well the breadth and depth of the task these media face in meeting this challenge.’
Stewart M. Hoover, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
'What’s the current state of the relationship between religion and the news media in Britain? This series of informative and entertaining chapters by experts from both worlds tells a story not of divorce or indifference - but of a stormy, intense, and complex relationship which is changing as fast as religion and the media themselves.'
Linda Woodhead, Lancaster University, UK
'… Ashgate commend [this book] to the attention of media and faith representatives, as well as academics and students. They will find plenty here to occupy themselves with. The book includes an important discussion of religious censorship versus free speech by the director of English PEN, Jonathan Heawood.' Church Times
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