This coming Sunday we will be "praying the week's news", so I am buying a couple of newspapers each day... and have set myself the challenge that each day one may be one I'd naturally choose, and one must not.
It's an interesting question to ask myself, 'why would/wouldn't I buy this newspaper normally', and has nothing whatsoever to do with the direction I have in mind for the service (though who knows!).
A former work colleague's daughter, a bright, intelligent young woman, works for a 'red top' newspaper I'd never consider buying, and this, I think illustrates the conundrum. Generally speaking, whatever their political slant, whatever their target readership, news media employ intelligent, well-educated people to write their copy.
Today I bought two newspapers, both aimed at a thoughtful readership. One claims, and seeks, to be polticially neutral, if by political we mean party allegiance. The other overtly takes a political stance on a single issue, and uses that lense to view the world. It's not that one is 'right' and one 'wrong' they have different aims. It's not the case that I agree or disagree with either viewpoint on any, or every, topic.
Way back when, we were actively encouraged to read theologians we would (or expected to) disagree with, alllowing oursleves to come under their thrall, to see the arguments as they saw them, and only then to form an opinion. It was wise advice then, and it's wise advice now. It also applies to newspapers and beyond.
So, this Sunday the array of newspapers will be "interesting" and may cause a few comments. But I think that's OK, because Jesus wasn't beyond a bit of controversy...