All journalists regularly covering religion around the world find themselves reporting on Islam and, in 2019, we encounter extreme voices—fueled by a rising tide of nationalism in response to global conflicts, migration and the plight of refugees. IN THIS COLUMN, you’ll find helpful resources you can use today—and a series of fresh ideas about ways you, too, could contribute to the global conversation in a helpful way.
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.”
The most important holidays in the Jewish calendar are coming in early October: Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur. Joe Grimm of the Michigan State University School of Journalism shares tips for journalists covering this minority community.
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.
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.