THEY picked the wrong week to destroy Christianity. If the secret of good reporting is timing, then we newspaper people picked the wrong time to reveal that Jesus wasn’t resurrected but was, instead, buried in a family tomb.
This story appeared on the Daily Mail’s website, in the same week that I read a report that being a newspaper reporter is the worst job in the world.
The death of an entire religion is yesterday’s fish and, well, loaves
Being a newspaper reporter has now usurped lumberjack in occupying bottom place out of a total of 200 jobs in the CareerCast’s Jobs Rated list for 2015.
It’s doubly disturbing because lumberjack was my fallback option if journalism didn’t work out.
Since I’ve been in newspapers for more than 20 years, this rubbishing of my career choice felt like a good time to pray for guidance. But the Daily Mail rather put the kibosh on any divine intervention.
According to the report, produced by an eminent Israeli geologist, Jesus was buried in this tomb along with his wife, brother and, erm, son!
The research, the story said, could have enormous ramifications for Christianity. You don’t say.
Fortunately, for Christians, the Daily Mail didn’t follow up this story. It was knocked off the top of its news agenda by a through-the-keyhole look at the multi-million pound home of a bra-making tycoon embroiled in a messy divorce.
News moves fast. The death of an entire religion is yesterday’s fish and, well, loaves.
I mention the precarious predicament of the newspaper industry, only because the time is nearing for our eldest boy to start thinking about his own career. At 14, our Bradley is now choosing his school options with, I would hope, one eye on what he wants to be.
His brother, Isaac, 11, is thankfully nowhere near that stage.
A couple of weeks ago, Isaac told me he was thinking of taking a year out of playing for his local football team claiming, quite vehemently, that “It was boring.”
“I’d rather go surfing on a Saturday morning,” he said.
Last week, I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. “A professional footballer,” he said, “maybe with Real Madrid.” I can’t knock his imagination, ambition or confidence. His grasp of reality however ...
Our Bradley, on the other hand, has his head screwed on. I know this because the last thing he wants to be is a newspaper reporter. He can’t be doing with all the writing, apparently.
Hopefully, the careers advice at school is better than that which I received in the classroom. From memory, it was either the civil service or Army.
We did, however, once take a survey at school that, so the teacher told us, would indicate from our answers which career to which we’d be most suited. The results suggested I should be a vet.
I was, it must be noted, reading a lot of It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet books at the time.
In those days, I was greatly influenced by what I was reading. In much the same way as our children today are heavily influenced by what they watch.
Our Bradley told me at the beginning of the year (after dismissing journalism as a career) that he’d like to help “build the future.” He hinted at engineering.
Great stuff, I thought, there’s some shelves need putting up in the bedroom.
In the intervening weeks, however, a very different future was envisioned.
“One day,” he told me, “I can see myself running a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant.”
The BBC One TV show The Billion Dollar Chicken Shop has a lot to answer for.
Not that I have any truck with chicken shop management, but if that’s him reaching for the stars, I fear for where he’ll land.
I’d have prayed for him to raise his sights (bra-making perhaps!), but to which God? The Mail reporters have rather limited the options.
Heaven forbid he ends up a vet, with his arm up a cow’s nether regions for his troubles. If that’s the alternative, a future in chicken wings doesn’t seem so bad …
•For your information, the top job in the CareerCast’s Rated List for 2015 was an Actuary. (Pauses for effect). Yep, I didn’t know what one was either. But you’ll not be surprised to discover it has nothing to do with fried chickens, newspapers or religion.