How To Be a Journalist…

…ok, maybe not a very good one — but certainly in the same league with most of those who cover stories about the Catholic Church.

Go to the Catholic Herald and read "Covering the Pope: a guide for journalists." Milo Yiannopoulos has written a terrific guide to show you how you can be a successful journalist while getting everything wrong. Here are a few excerpts:

For any event at which the Pope appears, always inflate the number of protesters. At World Youth Day in Madrid this year, the number of protesters represented less than 0.04 per cent of the people who turned out in support of the Pope (5,000 people versus 1.5 million people). But that didn’t stop those enterprising minds at the BBC from focusing almost exclusively on the malcontents, ignoring the vast scale and success of a joyful celebration of young Catholics.

Here's another useful tip:

Any rumour of a potential walk-out from politicians or other religious leaders in response to an appearance by Pope should be reported as fact – in other words, as though it had already happened. Don’t correct your story if it turns out only that a tiny proportion of the loonier fringes of Government failed to show up. That’s just splitting hairs.

More solid advice:

Where possible, use photos of the Pope’s back. These are brilliant because they imply that he’s isolated and unpopular. Don’t be fooled by eyewitness reports that describe him as energetic and surrounded by thousands of well-wishers.

And the always-popular:

…make liberal use of Adolf Hitler. Hitler is a staple part of any modern religious affairs correspondent’s diet. No report about Benedict XVI or the Catholic Church is complete without a reference to the Nazis, especially the fact that he was a member of the Hitler Youth.

Read the whole thing. But I warn you. Don't drink coffee or anything else while you're reading, or you'll need a new monitor and keyboard.

Author: Fr. Christopher Phillips

Fr. Christopher G. Phillips is the pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he has served for the past twenty-eight years. He is the founding pastor of the first Anglican Use parish, erected in 1983 under the terms of the Pastoral Provision. Fr. Phillips was ordained as an Anglican for the Diocese of Bristol, England, in 1975. After serving as Curate for three years at St. Stephen Southmead, he returned to the United States and served in two Episcopal parishes in the Diocese of Rhode Island. In 1981 he left the Episcopal Church and moved with his family to Texas, where he was subsequently ordained as a Catholic priest in 1983. Fr. Phillips and his wife, JoAnn, have been married for forty years. They have five children, all grown and married, and three grandchildren.

3 thoughts on “How To Be a Journalist…”

  1. This advise would surely get you a job at The New York Times with prospects of becoming the chief editor some day. That is if the other 'throat cutters' on the staff don't get in your way. O, how the Holy Father enters the fray with such obvious dependence on the Holy Ghost. The world should be on notice that where ever he visits, "I come to talk about God."

  2. Reminds me of a recent online story that reported scholars had putatively found "evidence" that the Old Testament scriptures had been tinkered with over the years. I found it curious that they mentioned that this academic cohort had been at the job for many years, and for all their trouble the signs of text-tweaking were precious few and quite insignificant when one understands how ancient texts work. But that didn't stop these journalists from trumpeting the whole affair as if they had discovered gold – anything to discredit what God has done and is doing by his Holy Spirit through prophets and apostles, including their heirs in the church.

    Back in Texas we used to say "bless their hearts" before ripping into someone; that way, you could say just about anything about anybody since you had framed the diatribe with a gracious preamble or postscript. It was usually insincere, but at least the attempt was made to come off as a "mensch". No such luck with today's reporters. Especially if they're "reporting" on those with whom they disagree, and most especially if the latter speak with the authentic voice of Christ.

Leave a Reply