IARJAsia: Indonesian journalism conference highlighted ideas, peers, way forward

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Douglas Todd reports on the importance of the 2017 conference for the International Association of Religion Journalists in Indonesia: “Our Indonesian conference beautifully accomplished one of the key goals of our organization, which is to work with global peers to raise awareness of the crucial importance of balanced, accurate and fair writing about matters of faith.”

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Religious freedom and civility are at heart of struggle for democracy in Asia

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In this news-analysis, IARJ co-founder David Briggs explores the crucial issue of Islam and democracy—the global debate over whether these two traditions, one religious and one political, can co-exist peacefully and constructively in the world. In his overview, Briggs draws on expert voices raised at a panel discussion during the IARJ’s recent conference of Asian journalists in Jakarta, Indonesia. Then, he adds background (including some helpful web links), pointing toward related news events, research data and conclusions from other experts. This article includes links to video of the Jakarta panel discussion.

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IARJ in Africa: Connecting journalists and scholars

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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.

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Covering the Hajj, from the holy lands

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In September 2016, South Africa based journalist Yazeed Kamaldien reports on the Hajj, traveling to Madinah and Makkah in Saudi Arabia to follow the route of millions of Muslim pilgrims from around the world. In order to help journalists who are planning to cover this major religious event this year or in the future, Yazeed Kamaldien shares with the IARJ some helpful tips.

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The Church up close: Covering Catholicism in the Age of Francis

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Issues of faith in public life dominate world news, but religion is often misunderstood or ignored in media coverage. It’s understandable. The world’s religions are the result of hundreds of years of history, prayer and tradition, and this is not easy to reflect and to explain in newspaper, radio, TV or via new-media formats. Many journalists are seeking keys to unlock this complex beat that sparks enormous public interest.

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Covering Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv in Ujjain

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Covering large spiritual gatherings and religious events and reporting outside your native region carries many challenges. Among these is knowing how to handle yourself appropriately and improve your odds for getting the best story that you can. The IARJ is offering this occasional series on how to work in lands and cover events that you may not be familiar with. Journalist Bhavya Srivastava, the author of this report, is a founding member of the IARJ and a resident of India.

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GlobalPlus: Religion and science

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We live in an age when a presumed irrevocable gulf between science and religion is perpetuated in the public sphere. But new evidence is emerging that reveals a far more complex picture of the relationship between these powerful social forces. One eight-region study of Religion among Scientists in International Context found a majority of scientists consider themselves either religious or spiritual, or both, in all regions except the United States, United Kingdom and France. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to address long-held animosities. On both sides.

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