Beliefnet: Narrow views
Jim Naureckas writes for FAIR:
The religious-themed website Beliefnet bills itself as “the most comprehensive online resource for inspiration and spirituality”:
With a mission to help people find and walk a spiritual path that instills comfort, hope, strength and happiness for people who are exploring their own faith or are curious about others, Beliefnet is the leading source of information spiritual information presented without a defined editorial point-of-view. Whether you’re looking for spirituality, health and wellness, entertainment or more,Beliefnet has something for everyone.This “something for everyone” theme is echoed by the site’s corporate owner,BN Media: “Presented with a broad editorial point of view, Beliefnet‘s online content continues to appeal to a diverse readership.”
Unfortunately, that “broad editorial point of view” has a distinct limit: Apparently, in Beliefnet‘s eyes, “everyone” does not include feminists.
As reported by the journalism blog Romenesko (2/7/13), Kristine Holmgren, a Minnesota-based Presbyterian pastor, playwright and feminist, was asked to contribute a blog to Beliefnet. The snag came when she was asked to provide a title for the blog. The site’s marketing and business analyst Sharon Kirk sent Holmgren an email:
I believe you and Jana previously tossed around a few title possibilities including Feminist Pulpit Notes.
While I agree that title is certainly straight forward, I think it would resonate with our readers more if the title was a bit “softer.” Our readers are looking for editorial that’s uplifting, motivational, inspirational, etc. and I think your blog will perform better if the title speaks to that aspect of your blog. Do you have any ideas along those lines?
When Holmgren proposed as an alternative Sweet Truth–Thoughts of a Faithful Feminist, Kirk objected to that as well:
I love Sweet Truth, however I would suggest changing the tag line or deleting all together, as I’m concerned about the negative connotation that our readers may associate with the word feminism. In addition, we’ll want this blog to focus more on Christianity/spirituality as opposed to issues related to feminism. What do you think of simply Sweet Truths With Kristine Holmgren?
Holmgren told blogger Jim Romenesko that Kirk said on the phone that while she had no problem with feminism, “we know our readers are offended by the word.” Holmgren recounted: . .