The Ministry and the Message: What Americans See and Read About Their
| In "The Ministry and the Message," Joyce
Smith examines factual and fictional portrayals of Christian leaders
in feature films, television programs, and newspaper reporting. While
ministers, priests and nuns appear in a surprising number of films
and television programs, Smith finds, they generally play generic
and anonymous roles, serving as stock background characters, presiding
at weddings and funerals or performing other rituals or sacraments.
In the second part of her report, Smith examines the increased news
coverage of Christian leaders that occurred in the weeks following
the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center. The report
includes commentaries from three experts on media and religion.
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