In light of Hasidic 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky’s recent murder, as well as The New York Times’ inclusion of “some of the blunt theological language of the funeral…without any kind of context and/or clarification from other Hasidic believers and outside experts,” Getreligion discusses the implications and delicacy of reporting on religious affairs:
One of the most important lessons that journalists learn as they gain experience is that accuracy is not a matter of knowing more and more things about more and more subjects. The first thing that reporters must know how much they don’t know. Humility then leads to the kinds of questions that produce accurate, insightful stories.
[T]his is a story in which the religious culture that is being covered is so unique, symbolic and content-rich that it must — ironically — have been easy for the reporters to realize that they had to be careful, clear and specific.
We are confronted with questions of cultural and religious sensitivity and awareness: In our coverage, what information must be included? What can we leave out? How can we most justly represent a minority community to a presumably diverse audience?
Read more here.