Tuesday, October 14, 2014

7 Steps of Writing News About the Catholic Church

I was watching a very formulaic report about the Catholic Church and I assumed it was from some internet news agency with a small budget. I found out that it was actually from the BBC. I was boggled at how simple and overdone the format is and was shocked anyone still took these organizations seriously.

Here is every report you will ever hear about the Catholic Church:

1) The pope is holding a synod, council or assembly of some kind.
2) With Pope Francis in charge, many feel he will make some change that will popularize the Church in the eyes of the general public.
3) Mention contraception and/or abortion and/or divorce and/or gay marriage
4) Talk about hope for change, but warn that huge changes (the kind ultimately wanted by the general population) will probably not happen.
5) Vaguely analogize the Church as a large vessel being turned around.
6) Imply that given the chance, Pope Francis would endorse gay marriage, abortion, and contraception, but he is sensitive to the "bigots" of the Church.
7) Finish up by looking forward to when the Church will truly "advance" and be acceptable to the general population.

This formula is applied to virtually every news story about the Catholic Church. It implies the church only cares about sexual issues, and that the Church's main goal is to be popular with everyone. I'm getting kind of fed up with every news article being the same.