Religion Newswriters Association

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The Religion Newswriters Association (RNA) is a non-profit professional association in the United States which seeks to promote better reporting on religion in the news media and to provide help and support to journalists who cover religion.[1][2] It was founded in 1949 and in 2007 had 570 members and subscribers.[3][4] Membership in the RNA is open to journalists who regularly report on religion in the secular print and broadcast media.[5][6] Since 2006, the RNA has been associated with the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri.[7]

The RNA awards scholarships for full-time journalists who wish to take college courses on religion,[8] gives awards and scholarships to college journalists,[9] sponsors seminars and conferences [10][11] and publishes a "primer" for religion reporters[12] and an online style guide,[13] as well as other resources for journalists. The RNA is funded by dues paid by its members and contributions from the public.

In 1999, RNA executive director Debra Mason said in an interview that the topic of religion is very complex and requires extensive research, something which newspaper editors don't always appreciate.[14] In 2005, Steve Buttry writing at Poynter Online said, "The Religion Newswriters Association does a tremendous job helping reporters learn the beat."[15] The RNA was cited by Kenneth G. C. Newport and Crawford Gribben in their 2006 book Expecting the End: Millennialism in Social and Historical Context for helping reporters get in touch with credentialed scholars on religion, leading to better public understanding of religious issues.[16]

Since the 1970s the RNA has published an annual list of the top ten religion-related news stories of the previous year.[17][18] In 1999, the RNA was criticized by the Islamic organization the Wisdom Fund for listing a story on a special "Top 10 Stories of The Millennium" list which gave inaccurate information on the history of Islam in India.[19] In the same year, the RNA also published a list of the top ten religious news stories of the Twentieth century, with the Holocaust being the most important event.[20]

In 2001, the RNA was criticized by conservative commentator David Kupelain for its criticism of the expression "Islamic terrorist" and other expressions, of which the RNA said: "similar phrases that associate an entire religion with the action of a few."[21] In 2006, representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Church of Scientology spoke to the annual RNA conference and discussed issues concerning their respective faiths.[22]

In 2011, the Religion News Service became an affiliated non-profit of the RNA.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Religion Newswriters Association National Society of Professional Journalists, JournalismTraining.org. Accessed September 6, 2008
  2. ^ Religion News Becoming Obsolete The Ledger, August 9, 2008
  3. ^ Dolbee, Gorski honored by Religion Newswriters Association North County Times, October 4, 2007
  4. ^ Religion News in Brief ABC News Accessed September 6, 2008
  5. ^ Religion Newswriters Association Council of National Journalism Organizations Accessed September 8, 2008
  6. ^ NPR NEWS’ RACHEL MARTIN WINS RELIGION NEWSWRITERS ASSOCIATION AWARD FOR REPORT ON LATINO EXODUS FROM CATHOLICISM TO ISLAM National Public Radio October 3, 2007
  7. ^ Debra Mason Named Director of Center for Religion, the Professions and the Public Missouri School of Journalism, September 8, 2006
  8. ^ Religion Newswriters Association Scholarship Asian American Journalists Association, Accessed September 6, 2008
  9. ^ Ross Todd Named Finalist in Religion Newswriters Association National Contest Missouri School of Journalism, Accessed September 6, 2008
  10. ^ Religion and Politics The Media's One-Dimensional View Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting July/August 1994
  11. ^ RNA Seminars and Workshops
  12. ^ "Reporting on Religion: A Primer on Journalism's Best Beat"
  13. ^ ReligionStylebook
  14. ^ The Local News Handbook 1999, The American Society of Newspaper Editors
  15. ^ Help Wanted on Religion Beat: Don't Limit the Talent Pool Steve Buttry, Poynter Online, January 11, 2005
  16. ^ Expecting the End: Millennialism in Social and Historical Context, Kenneth G. C. Newport, Crawford Gribben, Baylor University Press, 2006, ISBN 1-932792-38-4, ISBN 978-1-932792-38-6
  17. ^ 2004 - Year in Review ABC News Accessed September 8, 2008
  18. ^ Buddhist monks’ revolt among top news storiesAnglican Journal February 1, 2008
  19. ^ Religion Newswriters Association Bashes Islam The Wisdom Fund, December 6, 1999
  20. ^ The century -- death by "quasi-religion" Terri Mattingly, On Religion
  21. ^ Politically correct terrorism David Kupelain, World Net Daily September 28, 2001
  22. ^ Faiths 'that don't fit' educate journalists Deseret News September 10, 2006
  23. ^ Religion News Service Enters Nonprofit Partnership With Religion Newswriters Foundation. Religion Newswriters Association.

External links[edit]