How the Pope Sets the Agenda on News Coverage

The Pope is technically a head of state, so when he visits the US, why doesn't the news media spend more time asking him hard hitting questions about church policy and practice?

NPR's On the Media spotlighted that question last week (audio above) interviewing Tom Roberts, news director of The National Catholic Reporter. Here's the crux of the problem as Roberts sees it.

TOM ROBERTS: They're dealing with a basically secret organization. It makes its decisions in secret, its appointments in secret. There's no precedent for a real robust exchange. You don't even have that with bishops in the United States.

Very often - more often than not, I would say - they choose the turf, they choose [LAUGHS] the circumstance and they choose the questions. It's rare that they would put themselves out for an all-out, no-holds-barred news conference. So it's a tough assignment, especially when these events become the point of coverage.

Understand your own mind and goals via bullet journaling

Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.

  • Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
  • The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
  • One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less