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Saturday, April 02, 2005

Race for the Rooftops

Here's a fascinating story about how American television networks have had rooftop space in front of the Vatican secured for years, but still find themselves scrambling to make sure everything is in place for the coming weeks. Here's another interesting insight into the years TV has spent preparing for the Pope's death. I actually worked for ABC News when the network was the only to have a full-time religion reporter (Peggy Wehmeyer). I believe Peter Jennings actually pushed to have such a reporter in place. Peggy Wehmeyer's pieces provided an incredible window on American religious culture. The networks. and in fact the media in general, are often criticized for ignoring America "between the coasts," but in part, with the coverage of religion, I believe ABC made sure most of the nation wasn't ignored. Sadly, none of the networks -- including ABC -- currently have a religion reporter. (I'm not sure how many have a Rome bureau chief either, but that's another story.) Personally, I'm not necassarily incredibly interested in religious issues, but they are an important part of the fabric of our country and the world, especially during times like these.


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