chapter  1
Religion and the News: Stories, Contexts, Journalists and Audiences
ByJolyon Mitchell
Pages 24

Many journalists observed in October 2011 that for the first time since London’s Blitz during the Second World War, the doors of St Paul’s Cathedral were closed to the public. It was noted that, by contrast, the flaps of the tents of the anti-capitalist protestors, camping in front of the cathedral, were left open to visitors. Numerous reporters visited the ‘Occupy’ camp, listened to speeches, recorded interviews and photographed the placards. This evolving story was covered not only by religion correspondents, programmes and papers, but also attracted news coverage from all over the world. For example, The New York Times claimed that the ‘“Occupy” Protest at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London Divides Church’ (30 October 2011). On several days in late October and early November 2011 news about St Paul’s made the front pages of many papers, as well as being one of the lead items for broadcast and online news reports.