Sunday, April 25, 2010 | Categories: Episodes
It's one of the cardinal rules of politeness - among people you don't know very well, you never talk about politics or religion. But if we journalists were to follow that rule, we'd put ourselves out of business pretty quickly. Talking about politics and religion is a part of our stock in trade. And often, those two subjects overlap.
The scandals in the Catholic Church, the niqab debate and the stalemate in the Middle East are all stories like that. But when it comes to covering religion, how well do we in the media do? Do we understand what we're talking about? And how much do we need to know about a particular faith if we're going to cover it?
This season on the Sunday Edition, we're looking at how the media covers some of the more complex stories of our day. This week, we assembled our congregation of MediaPhiles to ponder the subject of religion.Michael Enright was joined by Jeffrey Dvorkin, National Public Radio's first ombudsman and former Managing Editor for CBC Radio News; Tarek Fatah, writer, broadcaster and the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress; Diane Winston holds the Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California; and we will also hear from writer and novelist Jonathan Rosen who will be in our New York studio.
Song: I Like Your Company/Old Friends Medley
Artist: Jackie Richardson
Album: A Woman's View...Through Child Eyes
Song: Le Shuffle
Artist: D.D. Jackson
Listen to Hour One:
The Living Heart of the Lake - Documentary
Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories sits beyond the curvature of most people's imagination. You can't drive to it - except on ice roads in the dead of winter. You can't swim in it -- In summer it barely melts an ice cube. Few Canadians will ever see it in their lifetime. It's that remote.
Don't bother to mention that it's this country's largest unshared lake, with a surface area of 31,100 square km, five times the size of PEI. Don't bother to mention it's the just seventh largest fresh water lake in the world, and the largest uncontaminated of them all with more pure drinking water than nine Lake Eries.
And especially, don't bother mentioning this to the 500 people of Deline. The only community on the lake, whose ancestors have lived along its shores since time immemorial. They already know what Great Bear Lake means. It means everything. Life, death, nourishment, culture, mythology.
Listening to elders of Deline, it's hard to envision a tighter bond between a people and their lake. This morning, their lake, in their words, in their language, Sahtu Dene. Sahtu. Great Bear. Even their name comes from the lake.
Those were the voices of the, Charlie Neyelli, Albert and Jane Taniton, Rosie Sewi and the late Paul Baton, all of Deline, Northwest Territories.
Translating were Denizeh Nakehkoe, Paul Andrew, Sabet Biscaye, Peter Hope and Leitha Kochon. The Living Heart of the Lake was produced by Dave Miller, of CBC Yellowknife.
Song: The Lake Effect
Artist: Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer
Album: Music for Two
Mail Pack #1 - War and Peace
We are still getting lots of response to my sheepish admission that Michael was unable to finish War and Peace, despite his determination to read Tolstoy's classic.Thanks to all of you who wrote. We really enjoy getting your letters and emails. You can write to us about anything you hear on the program. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Or click on "contact us" through our website. Our postal address is P.O. Box 500, Station A, Toronto, Ontario. M5W 1E6.
An Interview with John Banville
The Irish novelist John Banville doesn't like fiction. He says, as a form, it's childish and too coarse. And his ambition is to change the novel - completely.
These are interesting words coming from a man who once described the novel as being as has written seventeen novels; who was the Literary Editor of the Irish Times newspaper; and who has won some of the most prestigious literary awards in the world, including the Mann-Booker prize for his novel, The Sea.
But, in light of his latest book, John Banville is on well on his way to changing his novels. This book is different than anything he's ever written.
The Infinities, is published by Alfred A Knopf.
John Banville joined Michael Enright in conversation from the RTÉ Radio Centre in Donnybrook, Dublin.
Song: Falling in Love with Love
Artist: Michel Donato
Album: Setting the Standard
Listen to Hour Two:
Just a few years ago, no one had even heard of cell phones. Those days now seem like another world. Today, of course the cell phone is regarded as an essential tool-- along with the blackberry and other wireless devices. Wireless technology is in offices, schools and homes. But wi-fi emits radiation. And some say the jury is still out on the health risks from the technology, particularly for kids. What kind of health risks? Some research suggests chromosome damage, decrease in short term memory, early onset Alzheimer's, and possibly cancer.
This medical research is very controversial. And not mainstream. Health Canada and the World Health Organization maintain that wireless technology is safe. But still, there is enough concern out there to have prompted a major international study by 13 countries about the health risks of cell phone use.Michael Enright was in conversation with Dr. Magda Havas is a professor of Environmental Studies at Trent University. Henry Lai is a medical researcher from the University of Washington and Frank Gilbert is the President of Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. All three were in our Thunder Bay studio.
He is one of Canada's leading scientists responsible for the Interphone study.When the study finally comes out, it is expected to be the definitive word on cellphone use and cancer.
Dr. Krewski joined Michael Enright from Ottawa:
Song: Big Al
Artist: Sisters Euclid
Album: Faith Cola
Mail Pack #2
Last week our documentary was about the rising popularity of the far right wing Jobbik party in Hungary.
We also had a response to my conversation with Frances Fox Piven, who co-wrote a 1966 article about dealing with poverty in America. Today, some on the American right are pointing to this essay as proof that a master plan is afoot , and being implemented, to bring socialism to America.
We received several letters about our special hour on the life and writings of Mark Twain. Michael's conversation with Twain biographer Fred Kaplan touched some chords in other Mark Twain fans.
Song: I Walk with Music
Artist: Bill Charlap
Listen to Hour Three: