Religion accounted for 10 percent of news coverage during primaries
Sep 09, 2008
In the presidential primaries, religion was the key topic in 10 percent of the news coverage, nearly equaling the amount of coverage (11 percent of stories) given to race and gender, according to Pew researchers.
After studying articles from 50 mainstream news outlets over 16 months, ending in April, the Pew project concluded that religion “could be at least as important in the 2008 presidential campaign as it was in 2000 and 2004.”
Not everyone think that’s wise. One analyst said he’d heard enough on the topic (“we are not electing a national pastor”), and another pundit wondered if Senator Barack Obama (D., Ill.) and fellow party leaders should be paying more attention to “the religiously lukewarm” swing voters.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).