The Church and the Media

Imagine if you were a Scottish political journalist covering a vital speech here by an influential world leader – EU President, Jose Manuel Barroso, for example.

You amble down to Holyrood, only to find no-one will let you in. The speech is in English, but you can’t get a word out of the Scottish Parliament press office, and the EU refuses to release the text.

You eventually discover his words reported in an obscure EU journal – in Spanish. Your news desk has to pay to have it translated. Then, and only then, do you discover it’s a great story.

Of course, in reality, this wouldn’t happen. Full media co-operation would be taken as a given. Politicians want to promote what they say and react to what they’re hearing.

And even in today’s badly-mangled British democracy, there’s still recognition among the political class that the media do have a right to report.

Sadly, the same can’t be said of the church. Reporters currently trying to cover the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Communion, which finished on Sunday, found themselves physically shut out of most of the proceedings.