Are Canon Law topics relevant in everyday media coverage?
The way topics are covered in the media massively influences public opinion. Media gives information, interprets topics and their relation with each other and provokes the audiences' reaction.
The last two years media coverage about the Catholic Church has to some extent focused on negative news. Sexual abuse of minors by clergy, the Pope's lift of the Society of St. Pius X bishops' excommunication and the scandal concerning Rowan Williamson are topics, which a lot of people now have in mind when thinking about the Church.
To which extent are Canon Law topics and questions part of media coverage? This is this study's main focus. In which way are Canon Law topics part of every days news? How are Canon Law and Church politics connected? How does the Media refer to Canonists? Which role do they play in news coverage about Church issues?
Selected television news programmes are analyzed covering the period 2010. Publication of results are due February 2013.
The project is funded by Fritz Thyssen Stiftung. It is run by Thomas Schüller, full professor ofCanon Law in Münster, and Judith Hahn, assistant professor of Canon Law in Bochum. Project assistant is Christian Wode, a theologian.
Comments on Canon Law topics in everyday media coverage
"Are Canon Law topics relevant in everyday media coverage?" This is the main focus of our study "Canon Law and its Reception in the Media". Aspects of Canon Law - sometimes well hidden - can be found in the news about the Church and Church politics. Besides our study, in which we search for Canon Law topics in selected television news programmes covering the period 2010, we commment on actual media coverage that relates to Canon Law. You can find the comments on our project website. Canon Lawyers and people interested in that field are welcome to hand in comments on newsworthy media events with regard to Canon Law to be placed on our website.