The “soul of journalism” is the elusive subject of Rodgers’ exploration of Protestant criticism of the press. By soul Rodgers means the principles that animate news organizations beyond the profit motive. The book is a rhetorical and philosophical analysis of commentary by mainstream Protestant thinkers gathered from almost a century of their writing. Rodgers offers what he calls an “originalist” interpretation of their criticism, claiming at the end to have penetrated to its core meaning. The soul of journalism wants news professionals to be “free moral agents,” “prophets,” “teachers,” and “citizens” who work for “human welfare” and “social justice” beyond market constraints (200). Rodgers hopes that this mission, which was first defined more than a century ago, can remain vital today: “Before we continue to transform our present news ethic in the midst of contemporary digital-driven disruption, we need to understand the past in order to discover and save what...

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