Journalism is meant to be objective and neutral, but modern reporting is consistently anti-Christian in its values and presentation.
I have a lot to be thankful for when I read Mark Twain, American author and humourist, as he has captured the issues we as Christians face in dealing with the media. Twain observed that when it comes to the news media you have two choices — you can ignore it, and be uninformed or you can pay attention, and be misinformed.
But wait, what about his classic dictum that many believe is the journalist’s motto? First get the facts. You can distort them later. In other words, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”
At the outset, I wish to make the point that in the context of this article, I equate ‘media bias’ with ‘Christian media persecution’ — in effect persecution through the ‘denial’ of the truth.
The Early Christians
At this point, it is worth noting that during the Great Persecution which lasted from 303 to 312/313, Roman governors were given direct edicts from the emperor. Christian churches and texts were to be destroyed, meeting for Christian worship was forbidden, and those Christians who refused to recant lost their legal rights. The persecution of Christians can be historically traced from the first century of the Christian era to the present day.
The modern media, it seems, via persecution by false reporting, has taken up this quest from the Romans to their delight.
A Secular Worldview
Political, cultural, and social bias against Christianity in the media has been a feature of the mass media since its birth following the invention of the printing press. Historians have found that publishers often served the interests of powerful social groups, which has not changed given that the media today are captives of such groups as BLM, climate change alarmists, and for some unknown reason, a preference to promote Islam over Christianity when it comes to reporting on religion. While there is ample evidence to show that there is media discrimination and persecution against other religions, such as the Jews for example (refer to the ABC), it has not been at the level Christians around the world see today.
Our mainstream media today is secular, where a reporter’s role ought to be to present news rather than advocate or flaunt their opinions — usually uninformed and lacking substance. This is in part because it has become increasingly clear that many in our nation’s elite media know little to nothing about religion — Christianity in particular.
In the nineteenth century, leading newspapers reported from a Christian perspective. Today, however, print and TV journalists increasingly take an anti-Christian stance while claiming to be neutral. There has been a gradual shift to secular humanism that has radically altered what the media cover and how they report it (refer to Mark Twain above).
“There is one minority group that is more persecuted than any other in the world, persecuted more frequently, more widely and with more intensity. There is indeed in one substantial region an explicit campaign of genocide being carried out against this group. Yet you will hardly ever hear about it in the Western media. The minority group in question is Christians.”
~ Greg Sheridan, The Australian (Aug 6, 2016)
Like newspapers, the broadcast media — radio and television — have been used as a mechanism for anti-Christian propaganda from their earliest days, a tendency made more pronounced by the initial ownership of the broadcast spectrum by national governments. The ABC with its pro-LGBTIQA+ ideology and abortion is a classic case in point.
At FamilyVoice I issue weekly Press Releases and little, if any, ever see the light of day in the mainstream media, highlighting anti-Christian bias to its fullest. A few weeks ago, FamilyVoice hosted a non-denominational NSW Day of Prayers for the lockdowns under COVID for the lonely, sick, health workers, government leaders and so on with some of the most prominent faith leaders in New South Wales — from Archbishops to a Rabbi — without a single mainstream media reporting the event: blatant media bias at it best, aimed at the non-recognition of this Christian initiative.
The most common forms of bias occur when the media attack a particular church leader (à la Brian Houston for example) or a Christian worldview such as opposition to abortion, euthanasia, or same-sex marriage. Almost as an act of retaliation, the media will promote left-wing secular ideology from LGBTIQA+ social engineering to BLM (should it not be ‘all lives’ matter?).
The mainstream media are in denial if they assert that they are unbiased. One only needs to look at common forms of bias, including editorial bias, news bias, mainstream bias, sensationalism, and concision bias when it comes to Christian news and issues.
A media friend of mine has often said that the supposed technique used to avoid reporting bias, known as the ‘round table’, is an adversarial format in which representatives of opposing views comment on an issue. This he said was nothing short a joke, as anyone daring to voice opposition to left-wing issues such as BLM, gender fluidity, neutral pronouns, transgenderism, et cetera are immediately howled down by the atheists at the table. This ‘round table’ approach should theoretically allow diverse views to appear in the media — not on your Nelly!
When will journalists declare, as they expect from politicians, their political party membership or affiliation with advocacy organisations to avoid conflict of interest and/or bias against Christians and their worldview? I shall not hold my breath.
So, I am today issuing a clarion call for Christians to reclaim Australian journalism and media reporting by taking pen to paper, finger to the phone, fingers to the keyboard and speak out. Probitas Verces Honos: integrity is true honour.
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
~ 1 Cor. 15:33