There’s lots of news starting to appear online in advance of the Primate’s meeting in Tanzania which begins later this week. But this report from Ruth Gledhill points out the way in which the reports that we on the outside receive are being shaped by the media strategy the Communion has decided to employ:
“As the local paper in Dar es Salaam reports, the media is not being given any official access to the main meeting. But you can bet there will be access to the conservatives next door. At Lambeth 1998, there was access but it was tightly controlled. There also, the conservatives set up their own operation, in the Franciscan Centre just off the Kent University campus. So guess where we got all our stories from, and guess who won the media battle, and partly as a result of this, the war over sexuality? You’ld have thought they would have learned, but no. It is happening all over again. And you can be pretty certain, that once again, the conservatives will win both the media battle and the bigger war, and it will be partly because of this. I once believed the Anglican Communion would survive this crisis, but now am not so sure.”
The first thing then to remember is that the reports that are coming online in advance of an official communique are going to written from information distributed by a group with a specific (and apparently agreed upon) agenda. And since the journalists who are there are only going to be able to report on what they are told, it means that the story is going to be shaped from the “get-go” by people who have a specific goal in mind. There’s nothing wrong with this. I wish the Communion office and the Episcopal Church Center would be half as proactive about this.
But the point is to remember how the news is getting out when you read it. There’s probably another side to the story. The frustration I read in Gledhill’s word mirrors my own that the other side of that story may never actually get out and into public view in the same way that the first version of the story does…
Read the rest here: Times Online – Ruth Gledhill – WBLG: Tension builds in Dar es Salaam