A PANEL DISCUSSION BY THE EDITORS OF CHRISTIANITY TODAY
DR. HENRY: The conviction is now widespread that America is undergoing a revolution in sex morality. What role and responsibility has the press in this development? Is the press handling sex responsibly, or does it tend to miscarry the subject of sex?
MR. KUCHARSKY: I think the press in general has handled many stories and separate developments adequately. The major lack is an interpretative analysis of the decline of traditional norms in regard to sex.
DR. HENRY: A newspaper is made up of many pages. Do you regard the front page as specially delinquent?
MR. KUCHARSKY: Well, I think the decline in sex morals has been one of the major news stories of our day. Interpretative handling of this certainly belongs on the front page.
DR. BELL: When the press exploits that which harms the reader, freedom of the press is actually license. Sensational exploitation occurs when stories mention sex aberrations in detail, and for the obvious reason of titillating the readers and increasing readership. There should be, I think, a distinction between responsible reporting and exploitation of news to gain attention from individuals who would otherwise not read it.
MR. KUCHARSKY: I think that there is a failure to represent the situation adequately in this sense. Newspapers have carried over and over again the fact of the rising rate of sex crimes. But I don’t think this has been put together for the reader so he can understand the significance of this increase in comparison to past years. I think the average newspaper reader just thinks in terms of recurring sex offenses. I don’t think he realizes that there is a crisis in sex morality.
DR. FARRELL: Newspapers, particularly tabloids, have learned ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more