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Watchdog: Media Mum on Jesus in Christmas Coverage

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By Nathan Black, Christian Post Reporter
December 20, 2010|6:53 am

A conservative media watchdog analyzed news coverage from the last two years and found that major media networks were leaving Christ and God out of their Christmas stories.

Only 1.3 percent of stories by ABC, CBS and NBC during their evening news broadcasts mentioned the deity, according to Media Research Center's Culture and Media Institute.

More specifically, out of the 527 stories about Christmas, God or the birth of Jesus Christ was mentioned in just seven.

Between Oct. 1, 2008, and Sept. 30, 2010, the three networks mentioned "God," "Jesus," or "Christ" less than they did retail sales and the possible addition of table tennis to the Olympic Games in 2012.

Though Christmas is celebrated by most Americans, the networks almost completely neglected stories about family, religion, and the blessings that Americans enjoy, the watchdog revealed.

"The true message of Christmas, the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ, has simply been ignored by the mainstream media."

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According to the research center's findings, 56 percent of all Christmas coverage was on general Christmas references and 40 percent of Christmas coverage ignored the deity. Such coverage included the White House Christmas tree and how troops were spending the holiday.

CMI's Erin Brown commented, "The lack of focus upon the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, is a sad commentary on pop culture."

"Nearly 80 percent of Americans self-identify as Christians, so it is safe to say that they are not offended by the words 'Christ,' 'God' and 'Jesus.' But the media have made Christ nearly taboo in network news coverage," Brown added.

Findings are based on analysis of ABC’s "World News," "CBS Evening News" and "NBC Nightly News." CMI looked at every story that appeared during the three news programs that mentioned "Christmas."

CMI recommended that the media networks include more discussion about the birth of Christ and the meaning of Christmas.

 

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