I’ve been looking at much of what gets reported as news lately. It’s really struck a nerve with me because I had been under the impression that in my youth, journalistic integrity meant (1) a journalist remained neutral in the content being covered, (2) a journalist tried as best as possible not to make his/herself the subject of the story, and (3) did not report tabloid sensationalism as authentic news. What has really gotten to me lately is the fact that I actually held the opinion that Christian media held itself to a higher standard in journalistic integrity. I never considered that with the introduction of the social media age, it too could become a victim of attention seeking to maintain and increased readership.
What troubled me most recently in this regard was the treatment given to the Christian music artist Erica Campbell, one half of the duo Mary Mary, who has recently been releasing solo projects. Her most recent release has created somewhat of a stir among Christians and the Christian media because of her latest projects cover image.
While the merits of “how Christian” her attire may be can be debated from now until Christ returns, what is more troubling in my view are the ways in which it is being talked about in the press. One such article compared Mrs. Erica Campbell’s wardrobe to that of a porn star. Can we truly say that we are lifting a higher standard or calling others to a higher standard, when we stoop to the same low standards that the world uses when reporting or even simply offering objectionable commentary? At which point do we say that we’ve gone too far? At which point do we say that we’ve overstepped the bounds of “Speaking truth in love” and instead are throwing our very own daggers? How do we draw people to a loving God if we then as soldiers on a battlefield injure others with “friendly fire”?
I could be wrong, but I believe that if we truly believe that as people who are desirous of taking the mountain of media, we must hold ourselves to a greater standard, and report truth with love, even when we are calling attention to something that we believe is disturbing or distracting from what we “feel” is ungodly or tarnishes “what holiness” looks like in the Church and the world. I honestly believe that we can do and be better than mainstream media.
If we honestly believe that we can do it better and exhibit what His Kingdom looks like on the mountain of media better than what presently exist, we cannot allow ourselves the indulgence of using the same sensationalism tactics they use, simply for readership sake, or else we do not truly represent Kingdom in the best light. However, this is just my opinion and I’ve been known to be wrong before, but that’s just one man’s perspective.
QUESTION: Do you think that Christian media can do better to represent the Kingdom, or is using the same tactics justified?
- What is Wrong with Erica Campbell’s Dress? (brownmamas.com)
- Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell Too ‘Sexy’ for Gospel? Some Christians Think So (essence.com)
- Minister Lashes Out at Erica Campbell, Calls Outfit Ungodly (atlantablackstar.com)
- Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell sparks religious criticism for new album cover (rollingout.com)
- Erica Campbell Earns Grammy Nomination for Best Gospel Song (prweb.com)
- Erica Campbell’s New Album Cover… (confessionsofachristiangirl.com)
- Erica Campbell From “Mary, Mary” Doesn’t Dress “Holy Enough” According To A Pastor (clutchmagonline.com)
- Too Thick For God? Religious Groups Criticize Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell For Curvy Album Cover (bossip.com)