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Faith and Media

Analysis of Faith and Media: Representation and Communication


Hans Geybels, Sara Mels and Michel Walrave

In the past, ideologies and religions had a real impact on the media. In the current era of mass media and communication strategies, perception takes priority over identity and new questions arise: how to introduce faith and religion in a pluralising and detraditionalising world? What possibilities are offered by the new media? How can technical innovations be incorporated in church communication?
Following the conference Belief in the Media (April 2007), this publication focuses on the gap between the language of faith and the language of the general media. The different contributors analyse, from within – but also from outside – a church context, the historical changes and challenges the Catholic Church and other faiths and denominations face with regard to their social communication and media strategies. However it is not only the relationship of religious institutions with the media that is at stake, but also the way in which the media cover topics such as the Middle East, Muslim immigrant populations in Europe, and the World Youth Day. Journalists have to find new ways to get a grip on these issues too.
Contents: Michel Walrave: Preface. Communicating about Faith. Balancing between Identity and Perception? – Hans Geybels: A Long History of Trial-and-Error – Peter Horsfield: The Language of Media and the Language of Faith – Franz-Josef Eilers: Church and Social Communication – Ernest Henau: Church and Media. Two Worlds? – Marit Trioen/Martina Temmerman: Patterns of Inconsistency. Naming and Transitivity in the Coverage of the World Youth Day 2005 in the Flemish Press – Joan Hemels: Faith and Journalism under Strain. Some Observations with Relation to Printed Media in the Netherlands – Jacques Guyot: Mediating Religious Matters on PSB Television in Europe – Jim McDonnell: From Certainty to Diversity. The Evolution of British Religious Broadcasting since 1990 – Daniela Frank: Faith, Church and Audiovisual Media. Case Studies from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe – Fadi Kabatilo: Muslim Women’s Dress and Its Relation to Other Discourses in Time Magazine during 1985-2004 – Khaled Hroub: Caught in the Crossfire. Faith and Media between Western Policies and Radical Islam in the Middle East.