Tithing in the U.S.

The United States is supposedly the most generous nation on the planet, but only 5 percent of American adults donated 10 percent or more of their income to churches and charitable groups last year, according to a study by George Barna's research organization.

Within the randomly selected group of 1,006 adults surveyed, Christians tended to give more than others, The Barna Group said in a news release in mid-April.

"Among the most generous segments were evangelicals (24 percent of whom tithed); conservatives (12 percent); people who had prayed, read the Bible, and attended a church service during the past week (12 percent); charismatic or Pentecostal Christians (11 percent); and registered Republicans (10 percent)," Barna said.

The segments of society who were highly unlikely to tithe included people under the age of 25, atheists and agnostics, single adults who have never been married, liberals, and adults who make less than $20,000 per year, the research indicated.

The average amount given to nonprofits by U.S. adults last year was $1,308, Barna reported, and one-third of all adults gave away $1,000 or more. Almost two-thirds of adults donated at least a small amount of money to a place of worship, Barna said, and 96 percent of evangelicals gave money to a church.

One of the key findings Barna noted is a change regarding where Christians choose to give their money. The percentage of evangelical and non-evangelical born-again adults who gave money to churches dropped to its lowest level this decade — 76 percent. Many Christians are now giving their money to different types of organizations rather than a church, he said.

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Liberal-Leaning Journalists

Just 6 percent of national journalists describe themselves as conservative, compared with 36 percent of the overall population, according to an annual survey released in March by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

The State of the Media report said 2 percent of the journalists and news executives surveyed consider themselves very conservative, while 53 percent of national journalists described themselves as moderate, 24 percent as liberal, and 8 percent as very liberal.

Jennifer Harper, a writer for The Washington Times who analyzed the report, said there are more conservatives in broadcast media than in print — 10 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Among online journalists, 8 percent said they were conservative.

Overall, only 8 percent of journalists at national media outlets said they attend church or synagogue weekly.

Almost two-thirds of the journalists in the survey admitted that their political leanings impact their reporting as the line between reporting and commentary is blurred.

NewsBusters.org, a blog that claims to expose the liberal bias in the media, said the Pew report "confirmed the obvious — that compared to the views of the public, conservatives are under-represented in national journalism while liberals are over-represented."

"Only 19 percent of the public consider themselves liberal.

"And it's not much of a leap to presume many of the 53 percent [of journalists] who describe themselves as 'moderate' are really quite liberal," Brent Baker wrote on the blog.

To read the Project for Excellence in Journalism report, visit www.journalism.org.

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