In some of our local news research, we've recently been asking people what they thought about in their lives (beyond news). One of the highest scoring categories was “…a closer relationship with God.”
The finding, a little bit of a surprise, prompted questions about whether certain religious stories might stir up some ratings (realizing a Pew study from May showed people retreating from organized religion). Aftera all, cable and network programs have found success in this area, too.
We know stories like this will play better in some markets than others. WAVE in Louisville ran a story in May on “THE POWER OF PRAYER.” It went crazy on social media and there's some evidence it increased ratings in the early evening where it ran. Other stations have seen good traction as well.
And there might be more chapters:
- WILL OUR CHILDREN GO TO CHURCH?
- WHY DO PEOPLE STOP BELIEVING (IN GOD)?
- DOES GOD PUNISH YOU?
We should also point-out that in the wake of the recent South Carolina church massacre, we saw many stations use the #PrayForCharleston hashtag to rally their community, users, and viewers – and join the overall conversation about this tragedy.
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