The crisis of religion journalism: The case of the Netherlands

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In the contemporary world, professional religion journalism is under pressure. De-institutionalization, individualism, and secularism have caused a steep decline in journalistic knowledge about the phenomenon of religion (both as a praxis and a confession) and the relegation by the mainstream media of "the religious" to the realm of the exotic and of human-interest stories. At the same time, religion has come to play an increasingly important role (again) in Western society, as it has worldwide, but this is mostly valued in negative terms. In this article, the author contemplates this apparent paradox within Western journalism with the help of the situation of religion journalism in the Netherlands, a country very much in the epicentre of secularism. The author identifies five contexts that have contributed to this journalistic paradox: a political-social context, a meta-journalistic context, a scholarly philosophical context, a religious-philosophical context, and a religious-anthropological context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-64
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Religion and Popular Culture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • Church
  • Journalism
  • Netherlands
  • Relation state
  • Religion
  • Secular society


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