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The "God Beat" Takes a Beating

The economic downturn has obviously hurt newspapers a great deal, but it’s hard to say which areas of coverage have been depleted the most. I have talked to people in many realms — international reporting, business, sports, entertainment — who claim their domain has been particularly hard hit. (Here’s a map from Paper Cuts that shows 2009 newspaper layoffs.)
But Cathleen Falsani, the Chicago Sun-Times‘s recently departed religion writer, makes the point that she is just one of four prominent religion writers who have been moved off their beats in the past month. The others are Michael Paulson of the Boston Globe, Eric Gorski at the A.P., and Peter Steinfels at The Times. This hardly means that religion will no longer be covered at those institutions, but that’s an awful lot of high-end human capital to leave one beat in a short time. I wonder what kind of religion articles we won’t be reading in the future as a result.