FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Conference Next Tuesday (5/29) at 1 PM
Religious Leaders to Address Findings of New Report on Lack of Media Representation
“Left Behind: The Skewed Representation of Religion in the Major News Media” to be Discussed
WASHINGTON - MAY 24 -Next Tuesday, May 29, Media Matters for America, along with Faith in Public Life and progressive religious leaders from throughout the country will hold a press conference to discuss “Left Behind: The Skewed Representation of Religion in the Major News Media,” a new report documenting the overrepresentation of conservative religious figures in the major news media. Media Matters, a progressive media watchdog organization, Faith in Public Life, an organization dedicated to increasing the strength and visibility of faith leaders working for justice and the common good, and this diverse group of progressive religious leaders are expected to call on major media outlets to provide a more balanced expression of religious values and views.
WHO: Rev. Brian McLaren, “Emerging church” leader and Sojourners
Rev. Dr. Jim Forbes, Host, The Time Is Now on Air America
Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar, National Council of Churches
Alexia Kelly, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good
Dr. Iva E. Carruthers, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
WHAT: Press conference to address the new Media Matters for America report “Left Behind: The Skewed Representation of Religion in the Major News Media.” WHEN: TUESDAY, May 29, 2007 @ 1pm ET WHERE: National Press Club
Peter Lisagor Room
529 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20045
KEY FINDINGS: Combining newspapers and television, conservative religious leaders were quoted, mentioned, or interviewed in news stories 2.8 times as often as were progressive religious leaders. On television news -- the three major television networks, the three major cable channels, and PBS -- conservative religious leaders were quoted, mentioned, or interviewed 3.8 times as often as progressive leaders. In major newspapers, conservative religious leaders were quoted, mentioned, or interviewed 2.7 times as often as progressive leaders. OVERVIEW: Since the 2004 election there has been a marked increase in coverage of religion in newspapers and television across the country. But, as this study by Media Matters for America shows, this increased coverage not only over-represents some voices and under-represents others, it does so in a way that is consistently advantageous to conservatives. Instead of giving readers and viewers an accurate picture of American religious beliefs, the media has systematically silenced the diverse voices of religious Americans and distorted the role of religion in American politics. ABOUT THE SPEAKERS: Rev. Brian McLaren is a best-selling author, a leader of the “emerging church” -- a Christian evangelical movement that seeks new ways to worship and understand the gospel in a postmodern era -- and Board Chairman for Sojourners/Call to Renewal. Rev. Dr. Jim Forbes is the former Senior Pastor of The Riverside Church in New York City and host of The Time Is Now on Air America. Rabbi David Saperstein is the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, which advocates on social justice issues on behalf of the national Reform Jewish Movement to Congress and the administration. Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar is General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, composed of 35 communions that count 45 million Americans among their members, and author of Middle Church: Reclaiming the Moral Values of the Faithful Majority from the Religious Right. Alexia Kelly is Executive Director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the fullness of the Catholic social tradition in the public square. Dr. Iva E. Carruthers is General Secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, which represents many of the most dynamic and progressive African-American faith leaders and their congregations in the United States. Report will be made available at the press conference and online Tuesday morning at: www.mediamatters.org/LeftBehind ### Media Matters for America is a not-for-profit, progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Media Matters for America is the first organization to systematically monitor the media for conservative misinformation every day, in real time. For more information, visit www.mediamatters.org.