Religion’s most talked-about in 2010

In the year 2010 Islam was the most discussed topic in religion covered by the U.S. press, according to a study by Pew Research Center.

They study showed that this is the first time Islam has been the most covered topic since the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has been recording statistics on the subject of religion coverage in the news. These statistics from previous years showed the Catholic Church as the number one discussed topic in news coverage of religion, but the increased Islamic controversies of 2010 caused a shift.

Discussion on the topic of Islam in 2010 were dominated by the possible building of a masque and Islamic center near ground zero in New York City, one Florida minister threatening to burn the Koran and the recounts of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Despite the 2010-midterm elections, religion’s role in American politics was still overshadowed by Islam as the number one topic of religion coverage in major news.

The amount of time and space dedicated to religion in the major news media doubled from 2009 to 2010—raising total coverage from a meek 1% to 2%. Although this can be seen as improvement, it is still apparent that Americans do not place religion as high priority in the media.

On the other hand, religion was one of the most blogged-about topics throughout 2010, according to the Pew Forum.

How much time and space should the American media delegate for the topic of religion?

What does the coverage of Islam say about America’s view of the religion? What kind of emotions arise from new most-covered topic in religion?

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2 Comments on “Religion’s most talked-about in 2010”

  1. tmt818 says:

    I believe the lack of religion covered by the American press is due to the separation of church and state. Religion is a personal matter of opinion. If the press were to report heavily on religion, the coverage could highly offensive to many readers. I believe the small coverage of the Islamic religion was not favorable press. The reporting done on this religion has left a negative feeling about the religion in the United States. Religion is a sticky subject to cover and a high percentage of coverage could lead to more problems between different religious groups.

  2. mflamini6 says:

    You pose some really interesting questions here. Religion is a controversial issue and will always be one. The past year was unfortunate in that America truly showed its more hateful side. The protests against the mosque and the pastor in Florida showcased the negative feelings that we Americans try to brush under the rug at times.
    While coverage of religion in the news media only increased a little, I find it really interesting how much the coverage increased in the blogging world. Blogs really illustrate what society is feeling. Blogs are the words of the citizens and can sometimes reflect American sentiment better than the news media.
    Even though religion is a controversial issue to discuss, I hope it is always brought up and never avoided. The only way to stop the stigma and make people more aware is to confront the underlying issue behind all the controversy: Ignorance.


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