People are being asked to pray for local newspapers this weekend as part of a national day of prayer for the media.
The Church Media Network, which aims to bridge the gap between media and the Christian community, organised the event on 20 May as a way of helping churches engage with the media.
The initiative comes amid the controversy thrown up by the phone-hacking scandal as well as the tough economic challenges currently facing the industry.
As well as praying for the media, the organisers have suggested inviting newspaper editors to speak in churches this Sunday.
Trainee vicar Peter Crumpler wrote about the idea in a blog post which appeared in Torquay’s Herald Express.
He wrote: “The British media is under the spotlight as never before. Illegal practices by some journalists have combined with tough economic times and pressures from new technology to make these challenging times for everyone working in the media.
“Yet, as a Christian, I want to affirm the media’s vital role in our society – giving a voice for the voiceless, keeping the powerful to account, highlighting unjust practices, calling for justice, and keeping people informed.”
“I believe strongly that the media matter to the Church, and that churches need to engage with their local media and raise their profile in their community. I also believe that journalists need to have a better understanding of the Church – of all denominations – and that people in those churches are best placed to help them.”
Peter, who has set up a charitable trust to encourage churches to work with the media, said it is also about churches getting involved.
“Give someone in your church the role of liaising with the local media, and getting to know them – as an active voluntary community group, you have lots to offer. Be inventive – the church person that took cream cakes into the local newsroom made a lasting impact,” he added.
“In difficult economic and social times, we need a strong and courageous international, national and local media, working to the highest ethical standards.
“We need to play our part in ensuring that we have a thriving media, committed to truth, and in affirming – and challenging – those who work within it.”