Monday, 9 March 2009

Speaking for the Army

When we as Salvos speak publicly, on most any subject, we can be understood as speaking on behalf of TSA. When we express a strong opinion, we give others the right to question if that is the position of TSA.

On this basis we need to be cautious, know the perspective of TSA and not get carried away with what we're saying.

Recently, a few articles have appeared in the media that cite SA sources. The reports are absolutely untrue and ultimately put us in a negative light. This is most unfortunate. We would expect for the news to verify their facts, but that expectation seems to be too onerous for a few news outlets. Selling papers must be challenging for them to make up reports. On the other hand, is there someone misrepresenting our positions as fact? Either way, it's distracting from our mission and wrong.

2 John 1:4 (MSG)
4 I can't tell you how happy I am to learn that many members of your congregation are diligent in living out the Truth, exactly as commanded by the Father.


Ben Clapton said...

It is annoying when the media misrepresents us. When people rely on the media to bring us the "truth", they have a vital role to ensure that what they report is as valid as possible. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, as deadlines get shortened, and papers see reduced sales, the pressure on reporters leads to mistakes. And of course, whenever there is something reported falsely on the front pages, the correction is always in the smallest place possible, often 50 pages into the paper where no-one ever reads it.

I am familiar with one newspaper, who whenever reporting on religious issues, would always get quotes wrong, misrepresent positions, and make the church look bad. It got to the point where one particular denomination refused to speak to their reporters, and not even a change in editor will be likely to change their position. Unfortunately, this means that journalists, seeking sources, will be forced to go to unofficial representatives - rogue priests looking to get some spotlight, blogs from various members of the church who might say something about an issue.

The only way forward it seems, is a complete rethink is required. Journalists must pledge to get official sources and official sources must be able to trust that what they say will be represented justly. Is this possible? I'm not certain...

Anonymous said...

Is there a specific issue which led to your comment?

It would be good to know what the problem is and if Joe Blo Salvo is 'tackled' on the issue we can put it straight, or at least give the SA stance.


Jim Knaggs said...

Well done, Ben.

Dennis - Please search Google news for the answer. I'm shy to call out the paper because I prefer not to go at it any more than I have on the public record. Thanks for your interest.