It's one of the questions that non-journalists ask me all the time: What makes some events "news," while other events are not "news"?
Long ago, a caller in Charlotte wanted to know why it was news that a downtown church replaced a window, while it was not news that her church built and dedicated a new building.
Well, I explained, that window was in an Episcopal Church downtown and that sanctuary is an historic site. It was controversial to put in a modern window. Now, if there had been a zoning fight about that new megachurch sanctuary, then the newspaper would have covered it. She was not amused or convinced.
So here is a more modern news-judgment puzzle, one with a twist that combines cutting-edge technology and the old demons of media-bias studies. This puzzle was at the heart of this week's "Crossroads" podcast (click here to tune that in).
Too wade into this, start with the top of this interesting Crux piece that ran with this headline: "Fears of anti-Catholic bias rise on both left and right."
NEW YORK -- Of late, California Senator Diane Feinstein has come under fire for questioning judicial nominee Amy Barrett’s commitment to her Catholic faith during a senate confirmation hearing last week.
“I think in your case, professor … the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern,” declared Feinstein.
That same week, another story prompted Catholic furor when former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon said he thought the U.S. bishops had been “terrible” in their support of DACA and “They need illegal aliens to fill the churches.”
These two cases -- which happened in the span of one, shared 24-hour news cycle -- have prompted some to wonder if anti-Catholic bias on both the political left and the right in America is on the rise.
In my mind, there's no question that both of these events were worthy of coverage.
However, stop and think about it.