SILVER SPRING, Md. (RNS) Put yourself in the shoes of a high school guidance counselor for a minute.
An impressionable, ambitious student asks for your advice about industries showing growth in the United States. Where would print journalism and organized religion fall on your list? Somewhere beneath video rental stores, cable companies and landline telephones?
Clearly, we all know the “nones” are ascendent and that digital revenue streams will never be able to keep legacy newsrooms operating at the current levels. But which will go first? That’s the question The Literalist asked the the endangered-but-not-extinct species of religion journalists gathering for its annual conference outside Washington.
The highly scientific study, conducted in partnership with no reputable polling firm, found a vast majority of the God Beat believes print journalism will croak sooner.
If the reporters are correct, (lets face it, the ones who are left are the best of the best to have hung on this long already), then the institutions they cover will outlast their publications. But who will be left to cover America’s religious groups? Don’t worry, there will be plenty of listicles.
See something ripe for satire at #RNA2016, The Literalist is open from Noon-1pm PST daily (firstname.lastname@example.org). Stay tuned for our next poll at the convention, asking “How many religion journalists actually attend religious services?”