cover of book

From Yahweh to Yahoo!: The Religious Roots of the Secular Press
by Doug Underwood
University of Illinois Press, 2001
Cloth: 978-0-252-02706-2 | Paper: 978-0-252-07571-1 | eISBN: 978-0-252-09268-8
Library of Congress Classification PN4888.R4U53 2002
Dewey Decimal Classification 070.9


Presenting religion as journalism's silent partner, From Yahweh to Yahoo!provides a fresh and surprising view of the religious impulses at work in contemporary newsrooms. Focusing on how the history of religion in the United States entwines with the growth of the media, Doug Underwood argues that American journalists draw from the nation's moral and religious heritage and operate, in important ways, as personifications of the old religious virtues. 

Underwood traces religion's influence on mass communication from the biblical prophets to the Protestant Reformation, from the muckraker and Social Gospel campaigns of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to the modern age of mass media. While forces have pushed journalists away from identifying themselves with religion, they still approach such secular topics as science, technology, and psychology in reverential ways. Underwood thoughtful analysis covers the press's formulaic coverage of spiritual experience, its failure to cover new and non-Christian religions in America, and the complicity of the mainstream media in launching the religious broadcasting movement.

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