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date: 29 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Blogger Rocco Palmo is an apt case study of how the Internet changes the reporting of religion as news. His Whispers in the Loggia is among the most influential religion news blogs in the world. Palmo relies on tips from Vatican insiders, U.S. clergy, lay men and women, and other journalists. Palmo blogs primarily about issues and appointments within the Roman Catholic Church, employing the standard tools of professional journalism: original reporting and verification. Yet Palmo's blog is also emblematic of the problem that has plagued almost all online news outlets in the early twenty-first century: financial viability. This article focuses on niche online religion web sites such as Beliefnet, mainstream media online religion pages, and independent religion news blogs like Palmo's Whispers in the Loggia. It shows the disconnection between the perceived importance of an online news site and its profitability and argues that a sustainable formula for funding online religion news remains elusive.

Keywords: blogs, online news, religion news, Rocco Palmo, Whispers in the Loggia, web sites, Beliefnet, profitability, funding

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