'Tis the season: GetReligionista work slows a bit, but we will still be paying attention

'Tis the season: GetReligionista work slows a bit, but we will still be paying attention

So it is Thursday afternoon. And next Monday is Christmas Eve, which will be a holiday for gazillions of people.

In front of that Monday, we have an ordinary weekend. #DUH

That means that lots of folks can skip work on Friday, as in tomorrow, and end up with how many days off in a row? Five or six — for the cost of one vacation day — depending how their office managers handle The Holidays?

So that sound you keep hearing outside your window, this afternoon, may be car doors slamming as people toss packages (or their suitcases, if headed to the airport) in the back of cars as they prepare to head hither and thither and yon. Some of us older folks, of course, will be joyfully preparing for cars to pull into our driveways containing loved ones — some wearing tiny shoes, in which to dash around the house.

So, what’s the point of this meditation?

Some of your GetReligionistas are already on the road and others will soon depart. Work here at the website will slow down, but our cyber-doors will not be locked tight. You can expect, as usual, a post a day, or maybe two, during the Christmas-New Year’s Day season.

I will be at home near a keyboard most of the days between now and, oh, Jan. 2 or thereabouts — but will have a chance, as always, to flee to the mountains of North Carolina, where Wifi and strong cellphone signals are often a matter of theory, rather than reality.

Let me stress, that we still want to hear from readers!

This is, after all, a time of year in which even the most cynical editor/producer has been known to gaze at the newsroom and mutter, “Somebody get out there and do a story about Christmas. I hear that has something to do with religion, maybe.”

The results are can be glorious or fallen. We are interested in both. Please keep sending us URLs for news that caught your eye.

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What five religion-news stories truly impressed you in 2017? It's time to praise them!

What five religion-news stories truly impressed you in 2017? It's time to praise them!

Attention serious GetReligion readers!

You know who you are. You may be Catholic, Baptist, atheist, Eastern Orthodox, Mormon, Anglican or nothing in particular. Oh, and Lutherans of all stripes. You may have read this blog for 14 years, 14 months, 14 weeks or whatever. You may be a veteran religion-beat professional or you may be a reader who has carefully consumed mainstream religion news for years.

The members of the international team with The Media Project -- backers of this blog for 14 years -- want your help in selecting five truly great mainstream media religion-news stories for this year. It's fair to criticize religion coverage produced by people who just don't "get" religion. But it's also great to offer praise where praise is due, something we frequently do here.

We would like your suggestions by the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 3.

Note: We are talking about news stories, not editorials or advocacy pieces.

Note: We are talking about mainstream news media, not religious publications or websites. This can be news in all forms -- print or broadcast (with links online for those reports).

Note: When we say "best" we are talking about stories in which you believe the religious content and themes were handled exceptionally well by reporters and editors. We want you to pick stories worthy of JOURNALISTIC praise, not topics that you simply want to publicize because they echo your own beliefs.

We are looking for all the virtues of great journalism, with a heavy emphasis on accuracy, fairness and respect for the views of people whose voices are included in these reports.

For example, here is one of my nominees, the subject of a recent post with this headline: "Bodies trapped on Mt. Everest: The New York Times gets the Hindu details in this tragedy." You can find this amazing, epic report right here at the Times.

Yes, magazine journalism qualifies. For example, I recently poured praise on a piece at The New Yorker that, on the magazine's website, had this headline: "Roy Moore and the Invisible Religious Right." This is another of my 2017 nominees.

So please take this seriously. Many of you send us URLs, week after week, pointing us to religion stories, good and bad. Now focus on the good and even the great. The email from The Media Project team put it this way:

Please respect our Commenting Policy