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Anti-Catholicism in the Media: An Examination of Whether News Organizations Are Biased Against the Church.

Dominican Sr. Lois Spear lives in Adrian, Mich.

If books were rated for their deficiencies in logic, Anti-Catholicism in the Media: An Examination of Whether News Organizations Are Biased Against the Church (Our Sunday Visitor, 1993, $16.95) would capture first place.

The study, edited by Patrick Riley, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, and Russell Shaw, Knights of Columbus, analyzes four media outlets over three five-year time blocks between 1964-1988.

The hierarchy are the principal source of media stories, the editors say. Yet despite the orthodox sources, the media perceive the church as authoritarian, oppressive and irrelevant, the study concludes.

Who is responsible for the media's unflattering view of the church? The media? The hierarchy? Other questions not raised by the editors: Why, in this study, are the hierarchy consistently portrayed as defenders of the status quo, the laity as change agents? What's the source of this "us against them" mentality?

Rather than an analysis of anti-Catholicism in the media, this study depicts a dysfunctional church. The media provide a mirror image of our internal problems.
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Author:Spear, Lois
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 19, 1993
Words:178
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