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Media bias, News

Now YOU are the media

What do you think the public needs to read, hear, and see? If you had your own media outlet what sort of news would you pass on to the public?

Don’t mistake this for a hypothetical question. You do own a media outlet – we all do. In an age of Facebook, and Instagram, and Twitter, we are publishers, one and all, with each of us serving up the news to anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred followers and friends via our social media feeds.

Now, some of those are close friends and family who think just like you do. But you also have some college friends, or neighbors, or even family members who most definitely do not share your way of thinking. And their only exposure to your perspective – to a biblical perspective – might well be your social media feed.

So what do you want to share with them? What do you think they most need to hear?

Another cute cat video? Pictures from your latest camping trip? Those might be appreciated. Those have their place.

But your media outlet can share so much more.

Remember that teammate from your high school volleyball squad, the one who now says there is no God? What if you included a video highlighting some of God’s creative genius on your social media feed? And how about that co-worker who asked to be your Facebook friend, and who seems to have no interest in talking about God? What if you could deliver them some well-thought out, well-written articles about how the world only makes sense when viewed through biblical lenses?

Maybe they’ll see your posts. Maybe they’ll read them.

But even if they don’t, by regularly sharing God-honoring articles and videos you can have an enormous impact on how many others will see this material. You know how Facebook works – the more Likes or Shares an article gets, the greater the number of people who will have that article show up on their own Facebook page feed.

The fact is, while all of us are now media outlet, together we can be even bigger – we can challenge the media empires by highlighting and sharing content we want our friends, neighbors and family to see.

This is one of the reasons why, a couple months back, Reformed Perspective decided to make a big change. We still publish a print magazine, but now we're also publishing 5-days-a-week-250-times-a-year online. The only restrictions on how many we can impact are the excellence of our articles  and how many others are eager to share them with others. It doesn't matter how good our content is, if other media outlets – if you – aren't willing to share it.

To give you an idea of the type of influence just a few people can have online, when just a half dozen people "Share" one of our articles from RP's Facebook page, the number of other people who read it that day will jump from mere dozens to hundreds – a dozen Shares and the article will likely be read by thousands. Facebook "Likes" and comments also help an article reach more, but a single Share seems to have the impact of at least 10 Likes – Facebook knows that when you share something you think it really is good, and they boost it based on your enthusiasm.

Of course RP is just one small corner of the Internet – there are many other great resources to highlight too. But whether it’s sharing RP materials, or sharing a great article from DesiringGod.orgAnswersInGenesis.org, OneChristianDad.com, or Challies.com, we all need to embrace our roles as media outlets. Social media has given us this opportunity and we need to seize it for all it’s worth!

Culture Clashes, News

ESPN.com Embraces Nudity

Sports Illustrated has been featuring near nudity in their swimsuit edition for years now. Pictures from that annual issue were also featured prominently on their website, so if a fellow wanted to follow the happenings of his favorite team, but didn’t want to see barely clad women, then he’d best idea head to rival sports website, ESPN.com. But no longer. On July 5 the front page ofESPN.com featured a nude picture of Mixed Martial Arts fighter Conor McGregor. The picture was from The ESPN Magazine “Body Issue” in which prominent athletes pose nude. ESPN started the Body Issue in 2009 as competition to the Sport Illustrated swimsuit issue, but until this year the nudity wasn’t front and center on the website. Conor McGregor’s exposure was a departure and the website’s Public Editor, Jim Brady, heard from annoyed and disgusted readers. So is ESPN.com going to listen and stick to reporting on sports? Nope. Brady noted that while he had heard a lot of complaints, they seemed to be exclusively from people over 40. And when he polled friends and co-workers he found that no one he knew under 30 thought the pictures were offensive. SoESPN is going to show flesh. And if you’re offended, they’re sorry you’re such a prude. So what’s a sport fan to do when the continent’s two most prominent sports websites are selling sex? Well, there are still other options. In Canada there’s TSN.com, which, while it has ties to ESPN (ESPN has a minority stake), doesn’t have links to the Body Issue on their website. But nudity isn’t the only problem. With the NBA moving their 2017 All-Star Game from North Carolina because the state didn’t want men in women’s washrooms, and the NHL embracing homosexuality with promotions like “pride tape,” and the NFL putting on half time shows that we don’t want our children to see, it’s clear that professional sports are, overall, embracing evil. I love my NBA. But if this league, and the NHL, and the NFL and so many others, and the media that reports on them, are all intent on shaking their fist at God,is it time to tune out? And if not now, when?...

News

Patrick Brown isn’t pro-life and wishing won’t make it so

Two days after Patrick Brown was elected leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party, an article on Canada’s biggest pro-life news site declared: “Brown’s landslide win…bodes well for life-and-family voters." The LifeSiteNews piece highlighted how Canada’s biggest pro-life lobby group, the Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), played a key role in Brown’s victory. CLC Toronto’s vice-chair Jeff Gunnarson was “very pleased with the efforts of staff, volunteers and supporters who rolled up their sleeves and went to work on this leadership campaign…” He estimated that approximately 20 percent of Brown’s vote total came from CLC supporters and he sent out his “heartfelt congratulations to Patrick and to all of our people for a job well done!” Why was the CLC eager to support Brown? Because, by their measure, Brown had a 100 percent pro-life voting record during his three terms as a Member of Parliament. He had something that very few other political candidates possess: a history of voting the right way. Past performance… But there was just one problem. In September, at the kickoff for his leadership campaign, Brown pulled a page out of the Stephen Harper playbook. He promised he “would not change the status quo” on abortion rights and would “oppose any efforts to do so.” Lest there be any confusion on this point, the status quo for abortion in Canada is that unborn children can be killed at any time, and for any reason, and the government will pay for it. Brown might have a pro-life record, but he’s promised that if it is up to him Ontario will have a pro-choice future. That's not all. It gets worse. Brown’s opponents and the media (did I just stutter?) will use his pro-life record to paint him as a radical social conservative. If he doesn’t want this label to stick he’s going to have to run from his record. He’ll have to be consistently callous, spurning anything that might do even a hint of good for the unborn. We can see this already happening. On the day of his victory he was asked about his parliamentary votes by both CBC News and Global News, and asked about them again two days later in an interview with the Toronto Sun. He repeated his pro-choice pledge again and again and again: “We are not going to revisit issue. It will not be part of my platform.” Despite the impression that LifeSiteNews gave its readers, and Campaign Life Coalition gave their supporters, the unborn will not benefit from Brown’s leadership. A better sort It’s mystifying as to how the CLC and LifeSiteNews could be so wrong about Patrick Brown. One takeaway is that even the best new sources, and even the most reliable organizations, can get things horribly wrong. The bigger lesson is that we should never let desperation drive us to delusion. Principled politicians are rare, but it does the unborn no good to rally around a Patrick Brown sort. No champion at all is better than one who believes his political ambitions are more important than unborn children’s lives. The fact is, while rare, principled politicians do exist. There really are men and women out there eager and able to explain to the muddled masses why the unborn are as precious as the rest of us. They understand that God would rather they speak for the oppressed even if it means they lose, than win by staying silent. Our job is to search for these special sorts. When we find them we need to support them with our money and our time. Ideally we’d all have one in our riding, but they aren’t yet as numerous as that. We may need to drive a couple ridings over to volunteer for one of these faithful few. Or if there’s no one nearby, we can still send money. And if in the whole width and breadth of this country no one can be found worth supporting, then the need is clear. If we can’t find one, we need to become one. Better to stammer out the truth ourselves than to throw our support behind false hopes like Patrick Brown....

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