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The Ministry and the Message: Christian Leaders in Contemporary Visual and Print Media

Drawing upon fictional portrayals of ministers, priests and nuns, researcher Joyce Smith found that most times, fictional clergy tend to be background characters. But in contrast, after 9/11, she found that news media mentions of Christian leaders peaked in the weeks after the attack. Despite a generalized lack of interest and reporting, Smith contends that the most powerful and popular portrayals of Christian leaders are those modeled on real people, or created in cooperation with real clerics. Read the full report, The Ministry and the Message: What Americans See and Read About Their Leaders available from Pulpit & Pew. A related summary of Smith's research is also available.

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