The Problem with Journalism
It's tough times for journalism and not just because of economics. I believe it's less a business problem and more an integrity problem. We have lost the public's confidence precisely because too many of us have let opinion dominate our reporting. On the one extreme is fake news, in which writers make up stories whole cloth; at the other end are stories miserably reported due to partisan bias (as in the examples Mollie Hemingway brings up here; and the problem is found on both the left and the right).
We not only distrust political reporting, but reporting based on good, old statistics—see this week's long read, "How Statistics Lost Their Power." All in all, "truth" has become a commodity, argues professor Daniel Rodgers, and is manipulated to serve only partisan interests. Rogers thinks the post-truth era has run its course, and we need to have confidence in truth again as something that transcends personal agendas.
Our latest Quick to Listen podcast touches on such themes this week, especially the relationship of fake news to propaganda. Wheaton College associate professor Lisa Richmond helps us understand Jacque Ellul's masterful Propaganda as a way to frame the issues and proposes some possible ways forward.
Sleep Deprived Christians
CT's Kate Shellnutt does a great job of summarizing much Christian comment on the importance of getting a good night's sleep. I wish sleep were a virtue, because it's one of the things I'm really good at. But apparently, I'm the exception, because book after book and article after article encourages us to get more sleep—suggesting it's a pretty big problem. Hopefully, Shellnutt's article will do the trick for some.
Realty TV Presidency
I didn't vote for him, and I find his behavior and language often deeply troubling, but I'm not much for bashing or joining the resistance to Donald Trump. He deserves at least some space to pass specifically bad policies—and even some good ones (e.g., restoring the Mexico City Policy). Still, I appreciate articles that help explain Trump's presidential style, and I think Michael Brendan Dougherty is on to something in his "The Reality TV Presidency Begins."
The Wisdom of Right-Hand Turns
On a lighter and more practical note: Stop turning left through oncoming traffic. UPS drivers don't because the company has figured out it prevents accidents and keeps their fuel costs down. Save the planet and turn right! (This is not veiled political advice, by the way.)
There is no holiness of God which can be separated from his grace, and therefore no wrath of God … that can be anything other than the redemptive fire of his love, which has its final and proper work in the fact that for our sake, for the sake of man fallen in sin and guilt, he did not spare his only Son.
—Karl Barth (Church Dogmatics, IV I page 490)
Grace and peace,
Friday, January 27, 2017
Sleep Deprived Christians