Reporting on Religion
After Iowa, you know that you need to brush up on your religious reporting. Get the cutting edge information and the latest in traditional., and innovative ways of doing religion reporting. Brilliant, innovative, intelligent news coverage of religion has never been more important.
The conference at the University of Wisconsin, Madison will give journalists and the general public an opportunity to stay ahead of everyone else on the religious developments in the elections and communities.
The one-day conference will feature some of the leading journalists and scholars on religion.
The conference will culminate in a keynote address, free and open to the public, by television journalist David Gregory, former moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press and the author of How’s Your Faith? An Unlikely Spiritual Journey.
AMERICA’S CHANGING RELIGIOUS LANDSCAPE
The Pew Center on Religious Life has done groundbreaking work documenting shifts in religious beliefs, affiliations, and practices in the United States. The Center’s two recent studies of the U.S. Religious Landscape, each aggregating some 35,000 responses, provide an in-depth look at how American religious life is changing. The results pose interesting challenges and opportunities for journalists covering religion, for public policy and for practitioners of religion. Besheer Mohamed will provide an overview of the current landscape and what it means now.
As a veteran journalist who specializes both in the coverage of religion and of survey research, Cathy Lynn Grossman will help connect Besheer Mohamed’s presentation with the issues this changing landscape raises for journalists covering religion.
HOW THE PRESS COVERS RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY
Religious faith plays a big part in the lives of most Americans, and issues involving religious beliefs and practice crop up constantly in public life. Nevertheless, media generally cover religious issues poorly, often failing to inform audiences about the complexity of religious beliefs or the full contexts in which faith informs individuals’ decisions. Four veteran reporters provide an inside look at how they report religious news and offer critiques of how the media covers it.
TOO HOT TO HANDLE? JOURNALISTS AT WORK
As with many topics in journalism, religion is an area that can evoke strong emotions in the midst of controversy. Differing understandings of religious tenets and structures add to the difficulties. Three journalists will talk about how they managed to keep both their professional and personal balance in the midst of particularly hot religious topics that they have covered.
FAITH ON THE STREET
Tony Carnes will present his work covering religion at the street level in New York City. Over the past five years, “A Journey Through NYC Religions” has explored, documented, and explained the great religious changes in New York City. Using videos from the project’s web site, Carnes will demonstrate how journalists might use this approach to cover religion in their regions.
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE
This panel exposes and explores the tension between competing goods: the value Americans place on religious freedom, and the value Americans place on equality among citizens. How do we as a society negotiate this conflict? How can people covering this issue in the media appreciate all the points at stake?
KEYNOTE: A JOURNALIST’S UNLIKELY SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
David Gregory, author of How’s Your Faith? An Unlikely Spiritual Journey, understands the demands of journalism at the highest levels and, more recently, has grappled with the role faith plays in his own life. He brings a perspective to the covering of religious issues from someone who understands how journalism works and from someone who has thought deeply about religious questions. Introduction by Kathleen Bartzen Culver.