Religious Periodicals and Presidential Elections, 1992-2008
In a 1992 study, J. David Fairbanks and I found that two prominent Catholic journals, America and Commonweal, devoted more coverage to presidential campaigns during the presidential elections from 1960 to 1988 than Christian Century and Christianity Today, their Protestant counterparts. The current study, which also reviews Crisis and First Things in addition to the four previous journals, finds that the sectarian split has disappeared in terms of quantity of campaign coverage. Instead, the qualitative difference in coverage is ideological, akin to James Davison Hunter's culture wars thesis, with America, Christian Century, and Commonweal manifesting a progressive Christian outlook while Christianity Today, Crisis, and First Things express an orthodox Christian outlook. In the Catholic journals, progressive and orthodox discourses during the campaigns are as antagonistic toward one another as they are with Protestant or secular discourses, reflective of Timothy Radcliffe's theological distinction between “Kingdom” and “Communion” Catholics.
Burke, J. F. (2012). Religious periodicals and presidential elections, 1992-2008. Journal of Media and Religion, 11(3), 156-176. http://doi.org/10.1080/15348423.2012.706168
Journal of Media and Religion