Forecast | Radar

Activate Account | Manage Account | Logout | Today's Paper
Today's Paper, also known as the e-Edition, is an online replica of the printed newspaper. You can view today's paper or previous issues.

Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.


Even some media insiders feel 'hijacked' by pastor's Koran-burning threat

Look for continuing discussions of this issue, particularly in columns and on opinion pages.
Explore the paper or its site and imagine you're an editor. What would you have skipped or run less prominently? What should be longer or have a larger headline?
Each community has people of diverse faiths. See if you can find news or an ad mentioning a religious observance, event or clergy member in your area.

Our country avoided a global embarrassment last weekend when the pastor of a tiny Florida church dropped plans to burn Korans, the Islamic religion's holiest book, on Saturday's anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks. But America's image was damaged by the threatened stunt and the heavy media attention it drew. Eleven foreign governments condemned the idea, just as President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Army Gen. David Patreus in Afghanistan had done. Demonstrators marched through seven Afghan cities on Friday, some chanting "death to Christians" and burning US flags.

Pastor Terry Jones of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., in mid-July announced that his 30-member congregation would mark Sept. 11 as "Burn a Koran Day." News professionals and consumers now debate whether the media coverage that escalated in recent weeks was premature and excessive or justified and healthy. "We created the Rev. Terry Jones from dust," Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Thomas wrote last week. "We could help head off such future nonsense if we folded up the circus tent and left Jones alone with his blowtorch and 30 followers."

In Slate, an online magazine, reporter Justin Elliott wrote Friday: "The U.S. media has given a global platform to a fringe pastor with a tiny flock, elevating him to a level of significance that would make most members of Congress jealous." New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd on Sunday looked back at "a Florida faker holding a complicit media hostage."
John Avlon, an author of two books about politics, also calls the pastor a "media hijacker." At a news site called The Daily Beast he wrote: "We can try to justify the coverage by dressing up the burn a koran stunt as a constitutional debate between freedom of speech and freedom of religion . . . but in the Internet age, local cranks can quickly become national -- and even international -- stories, providing that they are willing to be shamelessly crazy. . . . The media didn't create Rev. Jones, but it briefly made him infamous and increased his reach. . . . America came out looking bad."

President says: "We are not and never will be at war with Islam." -- Barack Obama at Pentagon memorial ceremony Saturday

Clergyman says: "The world of credible sourcing and journalism standards has come to an end." -- The Rev. Earl D. Trent Jr., Baptist minister in Washington, D.C.

Scholar says: "One of the great flaws of modern journalism is the preference for dramatic developments and pithy commentary over context." -- Kelly McBride, Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla.


Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by Newsy.com

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2015
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment

Front Page Talking Points Archive

Scary times: More than 30 governors resist federal plans to bring Syrian war refugees

Evidence of cheating by Russian athletes could block some from 2016 Olympics

Screen time: See what digital media students typically look at and for how long

Obama takes new military step to fight ISIS extremist group in Syria

Health concerns lead to steady slide in soda drinking by U.S. students and adults

Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is a big deal for our country

‘The Martian’ movie and a real-life NASA discovery put Mars in the news

Injury risks and slipping interest reshape high school football’s status in some districts

VW trickery on exhaust tests creates a cloud over all ‘clean diesel’ vehicles

Inspiring guest: Pope Francis begins six-day U.S. visit Tuesday

Complete archive