As we continue our series of profiles of our IARJ Regional Representatives, we share inspiring words from Elisa Di Benedetto (our representative for Europe). Even though she focuses on Europe, where she is based, Elisa has become a global public face of the IARJ. In 2012, she was one of our co-founders. She helps to coordinate international conferences to this day. In 2019, she is inspiring American readers of a new book about diversity. And, in this profile, we also share links to follow Elisa online.
In our second profile of our IARJ Regional Representatives, Rachel Kohn (our representative for Australasia) reports on some of the milestones in her own career of covering religion around the world—starting with the challenge of covering the Centennial of the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1993. We also share links to follow Rachel’s work, especially her long-running series of broadcasts, The Spirit of Things.
This latest Global Plus column comes from the journalist with the closest, ongoing access to Pope Francis: Sergio Rubin. This noted Argentine journalist collaborated on a book-length biography with Jorge Bergoglio, who now is known around the world as Francis. In this column, Rubin shares his insights into Francis’s attempts to revive and renew the worldwide church.
In a series of profiles of the IARJ’s Regional Representatives, Peggy Fletcher Stack (our representative for the United States) describes the importance of this specialty in journalism and shares links to some of her own recent news stories. Reporting on religion “touches all the important topics—values, ethics, communities, rituals, philosophical underpinnings, politics, meaning. It has some of the most compelling narratives as well as the richest ironies and an extraordinary cast of characters.”
IARJ’s Co-Managing Director Larbi Megari—who was also named the IARJ’s representative for North Africa and Middle East in 2018—reports in the Global Plus series about building friendships across religious lines. He especially explores issues of building social trust and civility between Muslims and non-Muslims. And, at the end of his column, Larbi adds a list of links to additional resources that will be valuable for journalists reporting on these issues.
Reina Lewis examines changing styles and expectations about Muslim women’s fashions. Reina is Artscom Centenary Professor of Cultural Studies at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London. She is a leading researcher and writer on fashion and faith.
The IARJ not only fully complies with the EU’s new data protection law—we welcome it. In this new column, we explain why journalists around the world should join us in welcoming these new protections. We also explain how we use data and how we follow the new regulations.
What happens when well-known speakers are brought together to fill an auditorium to discuss the compatibility of religion and science? Too often a circus in which performers with extremist views entertain an audience by affirming their prejudices, and widening a perilous gulf. What happens when you bring together respected social scientists who for many years have gathered significant data on the relationship between science and religion? A humble dialogue offering new pathways to cooperative efforts on issues from evolution and climate change to eradicating disease.
Lina Molokotos-Liederman, a researcher in sociology of religion in London, writes about the many connections between humor and religion. All of us feel better when we laugh. As a social and relational form of communication and a form of encounter, humor has the potential to help us connect with others in different social settings, foster human relations and build bridges across different and diverse communities. Thanks to our friends at the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) for allowing us to share this Global Plus column.
IARJ European board member María-Paz López takes us inside a conference exploring the role journalists can play in accurately and fairly covering the waves of migration heading into Europe. She also provides helpful links to a report on journalists’ responses to migration, offered in four different languages.