Last week the Dallas Morning News announced it was eliminating religion coverage from its paper. The Dallas Morning News used to have an award-winning religion section, stewarded by several excellent reporters. Fortunately, the religion reporters have not been laid off, but they have been reassigned to other beats on the paper.
Conservative blogger Rod Dreher commented on this development:
[I]t is a shame, and indeed more than a shame, to think that the DMN’s Religion section used to be routinely acclaimed within the profession as the best religion section in the country.
I couldn’t agree more (and Rod Dreher and I hardly agree on anything).
Terry Mattingly, himself an experienced religion reporter, notes:
This is certainly a day of mourning for journalists who know anything about the history of religion-news coverage in the mainstream press.
We at the Interfaith Alliance will miss these reporters and the excellent coverage they produced. Newspapers are important to the vitality of American democracy now more than ever. And readership is up in the past decade, though print subscriptions are down. It makes me downright angry that the business executives in the news business can’t figure out a way to keep newspapers afloat.