BOLOGNA, Italy, March 3, 2019—The International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ) and the Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII (FSCIRE), an Italian research institute focused on religious studies, have joined forces to launch a new award for religion reporting, the Piazza Grande Religion Journalism Award.
Nigerian journalist Odinga Adiwu writes about the role journalists who specialize in reporting on religion can play in the overall search for peace in the midst of the world’s diversity. The journalist’s goal of reporting fair, accurate and balanced accounts ultimately can help to break down dangerous stereotypes and work against the rise of hate speech in the world.
The Population Reference Bureau (PRB) is accepting applications for its new Women’s Edition-Africa program, which brings together 10 to 12 senior-level women journalists from low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa to examine important topics related to women’s health and development.
In this interview in our Journalism Spotlight series, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation’s Albert Ken Dapatem talks about the challenges of covering religion in such a diverse nation. He also talks about the rise of Pentecostalism in his region of Africa and discusses the challenges he faces between his personal and professional roles in religion and spirituality.
Atsoutse Tossou is a researcher with a special interest in religion in today’s world. Originally from Togo in West Africa, Atsoutse Tossou is co-founder of the Africa and Religions project. Initiated by students from various African universities, the project aims to provide legal and sociological information on religion in Africa. In this interview he describes his project and share ideas on how journalists and scholars can work together for excellence in religion journalism.
IARJ Co-managing Director Larbi Megari reports on the Africa-wide conference for journalists and scholars recently held in Ghana, including some of the emerging challenges: How to connect more effectively with scholars studying religious trends; how to deal with forces that seem to work against accurate coverage of religious diversity; and the challenge of finding more effective professional networks with colleagues.
International Association of Religion Journalists founding member Prince Charles Dickson shares the wide range of topics discussed at the IARJ conference in Ghana, highlighting the great complexity of covering religion in Africa. From trying to cover religious extremism to trying to balance government involvement in religion, or lack of government interest in religion, the professional challenges are enormous, Dickson argues.
IARJ Co-managing Director and Web Editor Elisa Di Benedetto shares her perspective on this year’s conference in Ghana, including a key insight: While everyone who attended was aware of Africa’s religious diversity, the conference also illustrated a diversity in approaches to journalism by reporters across the continent.
ACCRA, Ghana—The International Association of Religion Journalists is bringing together leading religion journalists and scholars for our July 28-29, 2016, conference “Reporting on Religion and Spirituality in Africa.”
“The world can learn a lot from the experiences and insights of Africans,” said IARJ Executive Director Endy Bayuni.
At their best, faith-based organizations and religious communities have embraced Ebola victims with loving care, heedless of their own safety in treating the suffering and working with public health officials in education and prevention efforts. Still, amid the uncertainty that has gripped governments, world health officials and religious groups alike, responses have been varied over religious rituals such as Muslim and traditional African burial practices encouraging the washing of the dead, Christian practices such as exchanging hugs and handshakes and receiving communion orally and the reliance on traditional healers that provide sources of comfort and hope to believers but also pose public health risks.