A different way of looking at newspapers

THE news media are, for the most part, the bringers of bad news… and it’s not entirely the media’s fault, bad news gets higher ratings and sells more papers than good news.

At least that’s the theory.

More than a century ago in Kansas, a publisher of a newspaper was arguing with his friend, a pastor named Dr Charles Sheldon. The publisher said he felt no newspaper could be edited as Christ might have edited it and still be readable.

Dr Sheldon disagreed and the publisher, God bless him, said ok you can edit the paper for a week and we;ll see,

So for one week in March 1900, Dr Sheldon took over the editor’s chair and tried to imagine how Christ would have acted in the role.

Under Dr. Sheldon’s editorial guidance, all stories of scandal, vice, and crime were played down. Not omitted, but reduced to what the minister felt was their proper length. Society-page news, gossip news, was condensed to almost nothing. Theatrical news was dropped. For the 1st time, perhaps, in newspaper history, virtue and goodwill became hot news. Editorials were moved to the front page, and each was fully signed.

Sheldon wouldn’t allow advertisments for products whose claims he couldnt personally verify.

A great famine in India, ignored or treated casually by the competition press, was headlined by Dr. Sheldon–not only headlined but followed up by an appeal for the distant sufferers. As a result over $1 million in food and other relief supplies was sent to Bombay.

On the final day of his editorship, Dr Sheldon took news of the day off the front page and instead printed the sermon on the mount.

Amazingly, the experiment was a success. Circulation for that week rose dramatically.

But in the end the publisher said a newspaper selling good news or spiritual news could not succeed in the long term.

I wonder.


45 thoughts on “A different way of looking at newspapers

  1. The unusual is newsworthy. Ordinary good deeds are not – they need to be extraordinary to make headlines. Bad deeds on the other hand are newsworthy because they are not the norm.

    For which we can be thankful.


    • Spent just under 12 hours yesterday at the Royal Melbourne Show. [Royal is a dirty word/ unfashionable] In the Herald Sun arena I actually heard the show being referred to as the “Melbourne Royal” as if this new name distances itself from regal lineage/ simple historical facts about where we all came from.

      One small stand at the show had a Christian non denominational track giving witness group.. I chatted to a man in his 60’s for a few minutes, maybe five. We got around to Islam and he told me a fascinating story. Some muslims a few doors down from his home, non violent, non extremist, friendly neighbours told him straightforwardly that one day he would have to hand them the keys to his home but that he would be allowed to escape with his life. Just like in Mosul Iraq, inshallah.

      You think there is a single newspaper in this country that would report that as a story? Surely this man misunderstood his friendly diverse tolerant peace loving Muslim non violent non extremist neighbours..

      I kid you not. How did a generation this dumb get political control of Australia?


      • Mon, unless the global fertility rate falls, we can’t survive. We have to reassess the ‘populate or perish’ hype.

        Are you afraid of Muslims in general, or just some? I am not afraid of Christians in general, but of some, I sure am.

        Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not towards your own understanding.


      • No Strewth,

        I am not afraid of Muslims.

        Is the video correct, or just rubbish? I’ll give you one guess who sent it to me and swears it is true…..and frightening. You, Rian and Bryan will know who it is. 😉

        And I’ve lost count of how many times I heard this on the blog before, presented as fact. So is it or isn’t it? I’m asking a genuine question. Paddy, get over yourself!


      • Interesting clip Mon.
        Even more interesting is Dom stating there are two sides to every story. Syraight after reading,”one day you will have to hand me your keys….just like in Mosul.”


      • Okay, thanks Bryan.

        This is just a thought, mind, but have you factored in the influx of Muslims fleeing Syria and elsewhere these days? How many of them will ever go back to their countries when this current conflict is eventually over? And why are so many of them portrayed nightly on our TV screens, so adamant that they want to go to Germany to start a new life? Count the numbers!


      • YES Strewth.

        “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not towards your own understanding.”

        The rest goes, “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths”.

        I have been told, again! Thanks beautiful lady. 🙂


      • Hi Bryan

        I am always dubious when the UN has statistics. Especially as they are corrupt.
        One might ask where the snopes article gets its own information? Yet the un has data on two islamic countries but not France????

        “We can’t make out what source the video is citing as the basis of this statistic, but the BBC noted that:
        The French government doesn’t collect statistics by religion, so it is impossible to say what the precise fertility rates among different religious groups in France are. ”

        “But no country on earth has such a high fertility rate, and in Algeria and Morocco, the two nations which send the largest numbers of Muslim immigrants to France, the fertility rate is 2.38, according to the UN’s 2008 figures.”

        Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/demographics.asp#eS23MVpvVuH7y5i4.99


      • “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” said Mark Twain.

        All three seem to float regularly across the internet, especially when the subject is Islam, refugees, ISIS etc etc. The problem is we tend to believe the stats that support our case, whatever that is.

        At least the Snopes article quoted sources, unlike the video that seemed to quote none.


      • Total population of Syria = 22 million

        Total population of Europe = 740 million

        so pretty much all of Syria could leave and move to Europe and the population would increase about 3 %


      • Actually Bubba,

        Yours is the best reply so far. Cheers for that…..I was never good at Maths. But your comment has actually settled the matter for me. Thanks! 🙂


  2. All is about the persons EGO and the rush of power between their ears.
    Facts and hard evidence is trashed and in many cases removed entirely.
    The person or a group who have the ability to push the print or post button get a surge of Adrenaline and Endorphin’s for hindering the voice of one or many outside their cosy world .


  3. You will not see this in the news. Must take notice of the ” in Islam”.

    Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam
    Page issues
    The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) is a declaration of the member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference adopted in Cairo, Egypt, in 1990,

    Article 7 states, in accordance with Sharia law!!!
    Colonialism must be liquidated. Article 11


    • I look up colonialism definition and it states;

      Colonialism is the establishment, exploitation, maintenance, acquisition, and expansion of colony in one territory by a political power from another territory.

      Do you think this is something worth keeping ?


      • Its the “liquidation” phrase that is intetesting. One can go back in history and see the “colonisation” of countries by the sword by Islanic forces.

        Interesting you left alone the Human rights ” in Islam”. It seens if one is not islamic human rights is something quite different.


      • Correct Bryan.my focus though is on human rights, Islamic human rights and what is liquidation. Woukd you find this in the paper? No way!!!


      • You seem to be jumping at shadows Alexie. It seems the term liquidation is a common term used for the removal of colonialism. A goal shared by others.


        The Colonial Ties are Liquidated’: Modernization Theory, Post-War Japan and the Global Cold War


        Apparently the UN is also involved in liquidation of colonialism.


        Probably not reported in the media because it is positive news. Can’t have anything positive reported on Islam. Make sure if a Muslim does a crime we know he is a Muslim.


      • Article 24
        All rights under stipulation of Sharia. In other words it only applies if muslim.

        So I would not be confident about luquidation as you are. I would also not be confident if the corrupt UN also uses the term.


      • In this article;

        The United States and the Liquidation of European Colonial Rule in Tropical Africa, 1941-1963

        United States takes pride in it;s role in the liquidation of European colonial rule.

        In the existing literature on the end of European colonial rule in Africa, the United States (U.S.) occupies a pride of place.



      • The islamic human rights does not provide universal rights that the rights signed in 1948 does. surrounds the subordination of women. The Islamic human rights is less universal, stipulating in Article 6 that a woman is equal to man in human dignity, and has rights to enjoy as well as duties to perform. The very nature of this clause undermines gender equality as it infers, arguably with good reason, that Shari’a law prescribes men and women different rights and duties. one must understand sharia law underpins it all and one must be islamic to have human rights.


      • The islamic human rights does not provide universal rights that the rights signed in 1948 does. surrounds the subordination of women. The Islamic human rights is less universal, stipulating in Article 6 that a woman is equal to man in human dignity, and has rights to enjoy as well as duties to perform. The very nature of this clause undermines gender equality as it infers, arguably with good reason, that Shari’a law prescribes men and women different rights and duties. one must understand sharia law underpins it all and one must be islamic to have human rights, ” in Islam”


      • Anything recent! Like in the last decade!

        Sorry I missed this. We were talking about the term liquidation and what it means. I don’t need to show anything current to highlight that.


      • The liquidation “subject” speaks for itself. This is what has occurred historically and is happening again around the world. It will continue into the future.


    • Islam does not guarantee universal respect for human rights, however. The Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights was written by the London-based Islamic Council, a private organisation affiliated with the conservative Muslim World League, has hidden many of its religious references in its English translation. For example, Shari’a Law is referred to throughout the English version of the document as “the law” which is aimed to mislead readers.


      • I listened to a Christian sermon in a main-stream church, where it was emphasised that genders were equal, but not the same. Each had their own job – the woman to order the household, the man to be responsible for any major life changes.

        This is the teaching of Paul. In Phillipians the operative verb “be subject to” or “submit to” (hupotasso) reappears in verse 24, where Paul writes that wives should submit “to their husbands in everything” “as the church submits to Christ.” This is the essence of the apostle’s teaching to wives, since in Colossians 3:18 it is the entirety of his charge: “Wives, submit (hupotasso) to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”8 Furthermore, this particular exhortation to the wife to submit to her husband is the universal teaching of the New Testament. Every passage that deals with the relationship of the wife to her husband tells her “to submit” to him, using this same verb (hupotasso): Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1; Titus 2:4f.9


  4. This should be in the newspapers.

    Corrupt un and the growing control of Islam.
    The corruption of the United Nations and its dominance by dictatorships and the of the Islamic Conference.
    The parade of dictators and despots taking the U.N. stage as the organization marks its 70th anniversary, was nothing short of spectacular. As were the lies they told without batting an eye to a friendly and respectful audience. They now have the Saudi leading human rights.

    A key United Nations body granted official status to a non-governmental organization with links to Hamas, the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) will now be able to participate in sessions of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, as well as several other U.N. organs. U.N. threatened to add the State of Israel to the the U.N.’s list of “parties to conflict who commit grave violations against children”.
    UN has papered a report to discuss the Arrest of Netanyahu and any other “suspected” Israeli war criminals wherever and whenever you can get your hands on them. the call to arrest Israelis either for trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC). Palestine is now on the court.

    Amidst the rise of ISIS and the jihadi attacks in Europe, the International Criminal Court (ICC) admitted the Hamas-linked Palestinian Authority into its ranks, in effect, welcoming terrorists.

    Inside the U.N., a special anti-corruption task force set up in 2006 was dissolved at the end of 2008. The U.N.’s internal audit division, the Office of Internal Oversight Services, has been roiled with scandals and frictions, including a former chief of the unit accusing the UN Secretary-General of “deplorable” actions to impede her hiring of investigators, and charging that “the secretariat is now in a process of decay.”


      • Most likely Dom. But looking at the UN resolutions you would think they are double the average of the whole world.
        The corruption is obvious and not just the food for oil scandel. Every mandate the UN holds dear they have failed at.
        Now they have the Saudi’s heading human rights and the PLO in the ICC.


      • Now that the Palestinian Authority has joined the ICC Palestinian officials filed an official ICC complaint against Israel based on some of the rights council’s findings. Hamas is euphemized as “armed Palestinian groups.”
        Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties,” the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, said last November.
        This month, a group of European, American and other former military commanders investigated the war and insisted they’d never heard of “any army that takes such extensive measures as did the IDF last summer to protect the lives of the civilian population.”

        They would ring the house hold and tell them to leave the house if houses nearby were targeted.


      • They ring a household to tell them their houses are targeted ? Looking at all the apartments that were bombed. How many phone calls would they have had to make just in one hour.

        As Jon Stewart said. They would get a warning to evacuate. Evacuate to where ?


      • Alexie you said most likely that Israel has done war crimes. Why would they need to ? They are a far superior force. So you think a country that does war crimes would have any thought to the well being of women and children in Palestine ?

        Banned in 1980.

        Apparently not for Israel who take extensive measures to protect the lives of the civilian population.


  5. This should be in the news.

    Intention is important

    Israel sites its military facilities as far from civilians as it can. Palestinians and other Arabs could easily attack these and avoid civilian deaths.

    Hezbollah (and Palestinians and other Arabs) could easily launch their military attacks far from their own civilians. They choose not to.

    Don Radlauer, ICT, 2002 (and here) shows that 70 percent of Israeli deaths are non-combatants. 15 percent of Palestinian deaths are non-combatants. Why the difference? What causes this difference?
    Also, 95 percent of all Palestinian deaths are male. Why is this?


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