Mar 1 1999

Secular Liberal Media?

Newsweeklies get religion

Conservative critics often accuse mainstream media of being hostile to religion. But a quick survey of cover stories in the leading newsweeklies puts an end to that notion. Religion is one of the favorite cover subjects of Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report.

Religion is an important force in social life that deserves regular coverage. There seems to be an element of pandering, however, in the newsweeklies’ frequent return to cover stories like Time‘s “The Search for Jesus” and U.S. News‘ “In Search of Jesus” (both 4/8/96). Often religious topics are handled with kid gloves to avoid offending the believers who are likely to buy such issues at the newsstand: Perhaps that’s why Time‘s “Does Heaven Exist?” cover article (3/24/97) doesn’t include a single source who says “no.”

Here’s a sampling of religion-themed cover stories from the newsweeklies in the past few years:


“Who Was Moses?” (12/14/98)

“The Shroud of Turin” (4/20/98)

“What Brought Them Together” – Pope John Paul and Fidel Castro (1/26/98)

“America’s Fascination with Buddhism” (10/13/97)

“The Promise Keepers” (10/6/97)

“Mormons, Inc.” (8/4/97)

“Does Heaven Exist?” (3/24/97)

“Jesus Online” (12/16/96)

“And God Said…” – The Book of Genesis (10/28/96)

“Faith and Healing” (6/24/96)

“The Prodigal Son” – The Billy Graham Family (5/13/96)

“The Search for Jesus” (4/8/96)

“Is the Bible Fact or Fiction?” (12/18/95)

“The Right Hand of God” – Ralph Reed (5/15/95)

“Can We Still Believe in Miracles?” (4/10/95)

“Man of the Year: Pope John Paul II” (12/26/94-1/2/95)


“God vs. Gangs” (6/1/98)

“The Pope’s Next Crusade: A Face-Off with Cuba’s Fidel Castro” (1/19/98)

“Whose Faith for the Kids?” (12/15/97)

“Deepak Chopra: Spirituality for Sale” (10/20/97)

“Sainthood Now?” – Mother Theresa (9/22/97)

“The Meaning of Mary” (8/25/97)

“The Mystery of Prayer” (3/31/97)

“Teaching Us How to Die” – Cardinal Joseph Bernadin (11/25/96)

“Rethinking the Resurrection” (4/8/96)

“The Pope’s Plea” (4/10/95)

U.S. News & World Report:

“The Making of a Saint” (1/1/99)

“The Next Pope” (5/11/98)

“The Power of James Dobson” (5/4/98)

“Prophecy” (12/15/97)

“Billy Graham’s Journey” (5/5/97)

“Lost Souls” (4/7/97)

“Life After Death” (3/31/97)

“In Search of Christmas” (12/23/96)

“The Faith Factor: Can Churches Cure America’s Social Ills?” (9/9/96)

“In Search of Jesus” (4/8/96)

“God’s City” – Jerusalem (12/18/95)

“Honor Thy Father: The Pope’s Blunt Message to American Catholics” (10/9/95)

“For God’s Sake: Religious Conservatives Think Their Time Has Come” (4/24/95)

“Solving the Mysteries of the Bible” (4/17/95)

“The Rise of Christian Capitalists” (4/13/95)