With Romney’s campaign for President an increased awareness was brought to the LDS church or Mormons. This was termed the Mormon Moment. Whether or not Romney’s being a Mormon played into why he lost the election, Romney’s religion was a main highlight of main stream news stations. While this is the first time that Mormonism has been highlighted in a Presidential election, it is not the first time that religion has been a main focus of a Presidential election. When John F. Kennedy ran for president his Roman Catholic faith was highlighted by the media.
Some people think that religion and journalism shouldn’t mix, but there are a lot of similarities between the two. They both share similar values within their separate spheres and they both seek a form of truth. Religion seeks truth about spiritual matters, while journalism seeks truth in the world and facts.
Though some media outlets shy away from highlighting religious topics the Dallas Morning News has expanded coverage of religious topics. Whether we like it or not religion plays a major role in our countries makeup. Religion is a factor in almost every moral debate in our country. Church and state may be separate but not completely. Religion affects how we see and write about the world. It’s a fact that the things we consume become a part of us and affect how we see and react to things.
Reporting on religion can be a tricky arena to navigate though. It is good to interact with other faiths and get to know other people and learn new things. These interactions can give us new experiences and help form new friendships. But journalists need to be careful to keep boundaries. Stay neutral and don’t play to cultural stereotypes. Don’t assume that a people or culture is anything like the stereotypes make them seem like. Remember when you assume things it makes an ass out of u and me. Also make sure you don’t get too involved. Don’t import your own thoughts and feelings on a religion. There are many times that writing a story about religion helps others learn more about and understand people better.