Why does the AP have to go to church critics as the go-to guys for commentary on the Church?
Yesterday, Jennifer Dobner of the AP, wrote a story on Church leadership succession which mostly quoted two outspoken Church critics, Grant Palmer and Ed Firmage (“WWII vet, 80, likely next Mormon leader“). This led Ryan at RomneyExperience to say:
Hint: When covering a story within Mormonism, if you find that your three quoted sources are a famously disfellowshipped Mormon (something close to excommunication) a famously lapsed Mormon, and a non-Mormon, consider a re-write.
Perhaps sensing some problems with her sources, Dobner filed another story last night based on the commentary of D. Michael Quinn and Steve BensonÂ (“Mormon succession holds little suspense“).Â At least it includes comments from Richard Bushman and Richard Ostling, but it alsoÂ fails to mention that Benson is an ardent ex-Mormon, not just a “grandson of former church president Ezra Taft Benson.”Â
GetReligion rightly questions why church critics are used in this kind of storyÂ but missed the first article.Â
The Church has put plenty of material on its Newsroom website for reporters to use and I’m sure a spokesperson would be more than happy to offer a statement on behalf of the Church.Â Instead the AP has to resort to church critics.Â I would suggest that Dobner get a bigger Rolodex.
Another exampleÂ why Mormons should get more involved in theÂ old and new media.Â