New York (Agenzia Fides) - Religion News Foundation (RNF), Religion News Service (RNS), Associated Press (AP) and The Conversation announced a global religion journalism initiative to grow and strengthen religion, ethics and spirituality news reporting in the United States and around the world. This initiative, says the note sent to Agenzia Fides, will allow the establishment of a joint global religion news desk aimed at providing balanced, nuanced coverage of major world religions, with an emphasis on explaining religious practices and principles behind current events and cultural movements.
Staffed by journalists from AP and RNS, a subsidiary of RNF, and editors from The Conversation, the global religion news desk will produce multiformat religion journalism intended to improve general understanding and analyze the significance of developments in the world of faith.
The initiative is funded by an 18-month, $4.9 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. It is one of the largest investments in religion journalism in decades.
"The Global Religion Journalism Initiative grant fundamentally transforms religion journalism in the U.S. and globally", said Thomas Gallagher, President and CEO of the Religion News Foundation and CEO and publisher of RNS. "Competent, reliable, professional religion journalism is needed now more than ever".
"This collaboration significantly expands AP’s capacity to explore issues of faith, ethics, and spirituality as a social and cultural force", said AP Vice President and Managing Editor Brian Carovillano. "We are delighted to be working with these organizations to produce meaningful religion journalism that will help inform audiences across the globe".
"This is an opportunity to bring content about religion to a much wider market and audience. We look forward to strengthening AP's product offering for our members' organizations and our clients", said Michael Fabiano, AP Vice President for local media.
"This collaborative initiative among RNF, The Associated Press and The Conversation is groundbreaking and demonstrates significant promise to strengthen both the volume and quality of religion news reporting", said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. "We are excited that the initiative will help to ensure that fair and accurate news coverage about religion will reach broad audiences and increase understanding about the role of religious faith in shaping national and international events".
Each organization maintains editorial control of its content, which will be clearly labeled and distributed by AP. The content of the opinions of RNS will be available for news organizations of AP members and clients. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 26/4/2019)