Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Southern Baptist Convention and the Media

This week we will be looking at press coverage of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in the 1980s and discussions about how the secular press deals with religious controversy. Specifically we will look at press coverage around the 1979 Southern Baptist Convention held in Houston.

In order to fully contextualize these events it is important to see how the SBC's relationship to the mass media. The SBC has long been active in issuing a number of resolutions "defined as an expression of opinion or concern, as compared to a motion, which calls for action" related to the mass media. These include resolutions related to Television Programming (1982), TV Morality (1992) and Youth and Violence in the Media (1999). They have also been active in trying to create their own sources of news and information such as the Baptist Press, an Online news service from the SBC offering "news with a Christian perspective". What do these actions and positions tell us about how the SBC sees the secular media?

Interesting insights can also be gained about how the SBC view its relationship to the secular press by reading ABP editor admits spinning news during SBC (2001). What does this article tell us about SBC policy or justification for their views about the media?

1 comment:

Allyson said...

In class we discussed the Southern Bapist and their view of the media. Our group examined the story that the Fundamentalist and the Moderates told.The Fundamentalists thought that the Bible was infallible. They evaluated schlorship on the basis of the "literal authenticity of the scriptures." The Moderates felt that the Fundamentalist were straying away from an individuals relationship with God.
Our group felt that the reason the media choose to focus mostly on the Fundamentalist view point is because it was the most interesting and organized. It is a proven fact that people love drama so the media focused on the group that provided the best story to the public.The Fundamentalists were clear and concise which allowed for the media to easily cover the story. Whereas the Moderates had two many leaders trying to speak for the group. As my dad would say they had,"two many chiefs and not enough Indians."
Since this incident the SBC now has their own press group that deals directly with the media.These people are trained in media studies and relations ,therefore they know how to handle the tough questions. In the future I think that the SBC will more careful about the things that they say because they now realize the damaging effects that the media can have on a community.
-Allyson Group 3