Last week, Washington Post religion reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey wrote to underscore a concern about evangelicals’ increasing reliance on opinion sites and their rhetoric against the mainstream media. Bailey also referred to the recent fake news story about Hillary Clinton operating a child sex ring out of a Washington DC, pizzeria. A North Carolina man reading the fake news showed up to the pizzeria with an AR-15 to investigate. Though it did not, this event could have turned out disastrous.
Being a Christian blogger, I share some of Ms. Bailey’s concern. These days, anyone who wants to be a blogger can be one. All you have to do is call yourself one and start writing to your heart’s content. Similarly, anyone or any group can set themselves up as a source of news reporting. And given their negative feelings toward mainstream media outlets, evangelicals tend to embrace alternative media sources.
That puts a responsibility upon Christian bloggers and alternative news sources. They should feel a sense of obligation to commit themselves to writing and reporting the truth. We must be good stewards of the platforms God has blessed us with. Equally important, Christians must be discerning about what they read and take seriously.
The appeal of Christian bloggers and alternative news sources is that they tend to write about and report things of interest to the Christian community. Things we would like to hear more of in the mainstream outlets but don’t. This alone, however, is not enough. There must be a commitment to journalistic integrity. To simply echo what caters to a segment of the Christian community serves no relevant value. Furthermore, for those of us who serve the body of Christ through blogging and reporting, fake news is a complete disservice.
I believe that as a Christian writer and blogger, I must be committed to the truth. I must not allow my content to be negatively influenced by political partisan rhetoric. I should bring a biblical perspective to the current events I choose to address. And I must always strive to provide a balanced presentation, as opposed to a denominational slant, of the Word of God. These are the values I hold myself to.
It is reasonable to assume that mainstream media outlets will continue to fail to adequately address the concerns of the evangelical community and of the Christian community at large. But, in effect, so will Christian bloggers and alternative news sources if they fail to impose upon themselves a commitment to journalistic integrity.
Copyright © 2016 by Frank King. All rights reserved.