Saturday, September 22, 2007

Southern Baptist discussion group

In class we discussed the whole Southern Baptist and Media relationship struggle. Our group added a great point that perhaps one of the reasons why there was such controversy over the interpretation of The Bible was because power was wanted by one of the groups. I personally disagree with this but it is still an interesting point. I think we pretty much came to the conclusion that the media focused more on the "radical" side of the debate because they were more "news-worthy". Also we talked about how when a group is speaking to any type of media outlet, whether that be television, radio, or the internet, one must be careful of what is being said and make sure to remember that you are representing the entire group (this came up because of the whole Jewish comment the one Southern Baptist leader said). So overall the group was pretty interesting and we had some good comments. It was also interesting to see how the, since that event described in the chapter, a formal media group has been formed by the Baptist to perhaps make sure this doesn't happen again.


danika said...

Our group discussed the vastly different positions taken by the fundamentalists and the moderates, and the media's tendency to choose sides, often fueling conflict. The fundamentalists stance is very rigid in form, viewing the Bible as literal, leaving no room for outside interpretation. The moderates, on the other hand, have constructed a more flexible view of the Bible, suggesting that there should be elements of religious freedom and liberty when interpreting the Bible’s meaning.

Our group decided that the media most always focuses on the outspoken group/opinions in any situation, as the public finds such extreme stances to be the most interesting. Often, even if the media is not intentionally favoring one side in terms of publicity, it results that the more controversial, outgoing group gets the most coverage due to the attention it receives from the public. We concluded that when presenting oneself in the media, it is important to balance between publicity and presentation, making sure to be cautious of what is said as it will have an effect on the perception of the entire group. It would be better to have less publicity and maintain a sound reputation than to have complete media attention and permanently damage the public’s perception of the group.

- Danika Armstrong, Group 4

Caroline said...

Our group discussed how the fundamentalists believed that the Bible was infallible and wanted to be moderators of their theology while the moderates believed that this was a power struggle by the fundamentalists and that the issue was not about the Bible at all. The press covered both sides of this event but sided more with the fundamentalists because they had a strict set agenda whereas the moderates were very vague in all of their responses to the media and didn't have a clear media strategy.

Our group believes that the media is going to focus on the story that is the most "newsworthy" and is going to spark the most interest in their readers. In this situation, this news story hits the conflict, impact, and proximity journalistic values. There is conflict in this dispute between the fundamentalists and the moderates, there is a potential for impact on the reader if the reader is Baptist, and proximity because it hits close to home.

Our group also decided that the way that a group presents their story is almost as important as the message itself which is one of the reasons why the media sided with the fundamentalists. It wasn't necessarily that their story was the "correct" one, but that their side was conveyed professionally and in a way that was easy to understand and relate to. This has effected religious groups because now they see how important is in conveying messages to the media. In the instance with the Baptist community, they now have their own newspaper and can convey their views effectively. They are actively trying to create their won media sources that have a "Christian perspective".

-Caroline Brown Group 1