Generous Orthodoxy  

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Prayer for journalists

Karl Barth, who wrote some of the best prayers of anyone, frequently prayed for newspapers and reporters. He clearly believed that they were serving the cause of truth. For several years I have belonged to The Committee to Protect Journalists. It is a very impressive organization. Here, for instance, is what they have just posted about the attack on Lara Logan of CBS:

Thomas Jefferson famously said "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." (Letter to Col. Edward Carrington, Jan. 16, 1787). When Congressman John Lewis recalled the days when civil rights demonstrators were being beaten and jailed, he said that there was all the difference between being attacked when journalists were watching and when they were not. Their presence, he said, gave the protesters courage and hope.

We aren't talking about smut-chasing, muck-raking tabloid reporting on celebrities here. The journalists who are risking their lives are committed to a different kind of news. CPJ reports that last year, 44 journalists were killed and 145 were imprisoned. This is serious business. We own these courageous people our respect and our attention to the analytical pieces that many of them write. Not to mention our prayers!