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Every other month, I write our “Perspectives” column, which focuses on the news of last 30 days, give or take. And after more than a year of writing these semi-regular offerings, I’ve got to say, I’m stumped. I don’t know what to make of the news these days. It’s becoming less clear, to me anyway, what our role is to be in all of it.
Think back to November, when Brian Pallister, leader of the Manitoba Conservative Party, wished fellow Manitobans (of all faiths and none) season’s greetings. Pallister came under fire for his use of the phrase “infidel atheists” in reference to those of no professing faith (as per the dictionary definition of “infidel”) who still take time to get together over the holidays. While the choice of words was undeniably awkward, it seemed fairly clear that no ill will was intended.
Naturally, it got me thinking—could this be a story for ChristianWeek? What’s our role in stories like these? Could this be a look at the complexities of religion in public office? Could we reach out to the group that took offence to Pallister’s remarks and get their perspective on what all the fuss was about?
Or could we ask for comment from Pallister, about what kind of society it is we live in that a guy can’t even say “all the best” without people going bananas over him not saying it just right? Is it our job to report on that?
But in the end, we went in another direction. Best to let it die down, and maybe it wasn’t a story that our readers would connect with.
But the thing is, we don’t know for sure. Our editorial team can talk and speculate all we want—at the end of the day, we have very limited connections to what people are actually thinking and saying about our stories.
Do people really care about what Canada Today columnist Tim Perry has to say about Rob Ford and the Senate scandals? Are people interested in Canadian Sunday School Mission changing its name after nearly a century?
We need to know what you think, and now we’re giving you the chance to weigh in.
It’s no secret that media is changing. As you've seen on our new website, we've added a comment section, making it easy for readers like you to tell us what you think—directly.
It’s our hope that if you’ve got something to say, you’ll do so with the gentleness and respect that so often gets lost in an increasingly hostile online society. But at least now you have the opportunity. So check us out online!
We wouldn’t do what we do if no one was reading, and knowing that we have readers that care makes what we do all the more important. So if you care about making ChristianWeek better, please—let us know what you think. Because in a reader-first media landscape, what you think makes all the difference.
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Thank you, from Christianweek.