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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading - thought-provoking, balanced and interesting, 5 Jan 2011
This review is from: Blind Spot: When Journalists Don't Get Religion (Paperback)
I read this book after it was leant to me by a friend, and liked it so much I then bought a copy as a gift for someone else. It makes for really interesting and thought-provoking reading regardless, and is a must for anyone working or thinking of working in journalism, whatever your (non)religious background. Contrary to what might be expected it is not a plug for religion in general or one in particular, but simply a balanced and comprehensive argument for why it is important to understand religion properly in journalism, both on its own terms and in its interaction with cultural and political spheres.

There are a number of chapter-long examples, evaluating well-known news stories from recent years, showing how they were covered in the press, how this coverage misunderstood the whole picture, why this misunderstanding mattered, and where applicable examples of coverage that did get it right. The examples range from specfic events, such as the death of Pope John Paul II and the choice of his successor in 2005 or the coverage of the American Presidential elections in 2004, to more thematic topics, such as human rights, Al Qaeda and Iran/Iraq, and all make for a very interesting read. Their coverage of the press is pretty broad ranging, although it does tend to have an American slant as the background of both the book and its contributors are American. However, the coverage does include international press where applicable, it is perfectly sufficient to demonstrate the point, and it is inevitable that the slant would to some extent reflect the origins of the book.

I would recommend this to anyone. To those working either in or with the press, it is an indispensable read, praising good journalism even as it points out where coverage could be improved. To those who are simply interested in the cultural, polictical, or religious spheres in which we live, it raises a lot of relevant questions and is definitely a worthwhile read. To anyone else, it might get you interested in the wider world, and even on the most basic level, this book still presents a compelling case for why we all have a responsibility to question stories and not simply swallow what we are spoon-fed hook, line and sinker.
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Blind Spot: When Journalists Don't Get Religion
Blind Spot: When Journalists Don't Get Religion by Paul Marshall (Paperback - 1 Oct 2008)
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