It seemed like a good idea at the time.
The Clunes church building will go up for sale by Auction on May 2nd. The sale has been coming for a couple of years now, since services ceased at Clunes at the end of 2007 after our 5 year effort at revitalisation. So it seemed like a good idea ahead of the advertising of the sale to have a story run in the paper emphasising the positive side to the story: small village churches may be closing but that doesn’t mean churches aren’t growing. Positive? How naïve!
I just about choked on my coffee when I read the subheading “community forced to travel to worship”. The journo actually did a pretty good job with the story but the editorial addition of this subheading really casts something of a shadow over how it all reads. And throw in the feedback bubble, “how important are local churches?” – I felt a little like I was the smiling assassin in the photo answering “not at all!”. It’s funny how the media spend 90% of the time belting the church as being irrelevant, but then throw in 10% indignation when we change with the times.
Ah well. They say “all publicity is good publicity”. I’m not so sure! But that’s the media for you. The Northern Star is in the business of selling papers. Sensationalism sells. Conflict sells. With a front page calling some violence in Byron “WWIII”, you know what to expect as you flick from story to story through the rest of the rag.
Let’s remember, however, that the letters pages of our local papers still represent a great opportunity to let our community know that there are many in this region who still call Jesus Lord. A Lord you don’t need buildings to worship in.
ahhh. you win some, you lose some…
I was actually gonna blog on the media myself today after reading a front page story in the Sydney Morning Herald – Sex & Blackmail: Gigolo’s $670 million dollar con-job. The sub-heading read: Christ-like faith healers, BMWs & the heiress. It was the “Christ-like faith healers” that grabbed my attention – no doubt as intended!
The crazy thing was that I read the entire 667 words to find this reference to what on earth “Christ-like faith healers” had to do with the story:
“Sgarbi’s main accomplice is suspected to be Ernano Barretta, a mysterious 64-year-old due to go on trial in his native Italy on March 24.
Barretta was the head of a sect-like organisation in the Swiss city of Zurich, posing as a Christ-like faith healer who persuaded wealthy women to share his bed and part with their fortunes.”
Bit of a stretch really!!!!
But hey! If you can link Christ with a scandal who cares how big the stretch?!
Hasn’t it always been the way…
Obviously the Northern Star isn’t paying any attention to how many people from small towns like Clunes, Dunoon, Modanville, Pearces Creek (etc etc!!!) are already travelling to Lismore, Ballina or Bangalow to go to church – despite churches still running services in those small towns. “Forced” is a bit much. But as long as the paper sells…