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(Cue: audible sigh) ‘Who am I to judge?’ errors continue in basic AP wire report

Pope Francis speaks to the media aboard the papal flight from Rio de Janeiro to Rome July 28. When the pope told reporters, "Who am I to judge" a homosexual person, he was emphasizing a part of Catholic teaching often overlooked by the media and misunderstood by many people. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) (July 31, 2013) See POPE-HOMOSEXUALITY July 31, 2013.
Pope Francis speaks to the media aboard the papal flight from Rio de Janeiro to Rome July 28. When the pope told reporters, “Who am I to judge” a homosexual person, he was emphasizing a part of Catholic teaching often overlooked by the media and misunderstood by many people. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) (July 31, 2013) See POPE-HOMOSEXUALITY July 31, 2013.

One of the most positive developments of the online age, for journalists, is the number of full verbatim texts of interviews and speeches that are only a few mouse clicks away.

Of course, this is a positive development if journalists actually use those resources. At some point, one still has to care about the details of what people actually said.

Like what? Several weeks ago, while working on a Universal syndicate column ahead of the papal visit to the United States, I ran a simple online search for the terms “Pope Francis” and “Who am I to judge?” The results, I thought, were pretty eye opening, with nearly 200,000 hits, including 4,540 in current news articles and commentaries.

Trust me that very, very few of these articles actually focused on what Pope Francis actually said in that 2013 encounter – here is that link to the full text again – with reporters on Shepherd One. We will come back to that subject.

Read more at GetReligion.org…

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