Saturday, December 04, 2004

Rejection of Church Gay Ad

On December 1, 2004, CNN ran an article about three networks (CBS, ABC, and NBC) rejecting an advertisement from the United Church of Christ (UCC) which was designed to show that gays were welcome in their church. CNN refers to the UCC as a “U.S. mainline Protestant denomination.” Fox ran an AP article December 2nd about the same topic and referred to UCC as a “liberal-leaning church.”

CNN describes UCC as “one of America's oldest religious groups, with historic roots stretching back to the Puritan pilgrims of New England. It is also one of the few Christian denominations that allows openly gay and lesbian people to serve as clergy.” Fox’s AP article points out that UCC is down in membership: “a 1.3 million-member denomination, down from 1.7 million in 1989.”

Fox’s article was shorter at 252 words with 20 words for one quote from a UCC representative. There were brief quotes from CBS and NBC. CNN’s article was 541 words long with 112 words for three quotes from UCC. CNN had brief quotes from ABC, CBS, and NBC.

With probably the same information available to both CNN and Fox, it is interesting to see how different these stories are covered. Why was CNN generally more positive about UCC? Why did Fox choose to say what it did about UCC? Is UCC a mainline Protestant church and/or is it a liberal-leaning church? Can you trust any news source? If you only read one source, you would never know about the other viewpoints.

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