Grading press coverage

Joel Campbell — an assistant professor of journalism at BYU, who blogs at the LDS Newsline site — has graded (A-F) some recent efforts at press coverage of the LDS Church and its beliefs. He’s pretty blunt and not afraid to name names:

“D” Work: In news reporting classes that I teach I talk a lot about “relevance” and a “news peg.” I couldn’t find much of either in this very long piece about Mitt Romney’s involvement in the building of the Boston Temple in Belmont, Mass. Based on the article’s sheer verbosity, you would think Romney played some leading role in building the temple and selecting the site. Although it is framed with the sinister headline, “Mormon Temple Casts a Shadow,” the article doesn’t make that case. It was written by WaPo Style writer Sridhar Pappu, who appears to be assigned to provide some meaningful narratives on the candidates. This one is a dull story and not too meaningful at that. Maybe Pappu felt like he had more to write after his novella on Romney ran in the September 2005 Atlantic, in which he asked Romney “How Mormon are you?” and then quizzed him about his undergarments. It was certainly one of the low points of the coverage of the presidential campaign.

Read the whole thing. ..bruce..

Leave a Reply