journalism

journalism

By Trent Gilliss April 21, 2014

This week held many surprises, including a lovely take on the story of Mary Magdalene, our first live event in our new studios, a scene from the Boston Public Library, and chopping wood with, yes, a Finnish axe.

May 10, 2013

In Ireland, former Catholics are rediscovering their religious beliefs and Irish heritage in pre-Christian spirituality. Shweta Saraswat and Tricia Tongco's story on the reemerging presence of Pagan spirituality in Dublin.

March 17, 2012

Yesterday Ira Glass sent an email revealing that This American Life’s report on Apple’s manufacturing supplier in China “contained significant fabrications.” Mike Daisey’s story and TAL’s decisions to go to air and later retract the show have sparked a lot of discussion in journalism and public radio circles.

There’s a lot of praising, challenging, and questioning going on. Frankly, much of it feels like punditry and harmless posturing. But, this Saturday afternoon a stream of tweets by Marketplace’s John Moe put a human face on this story and some of the underlying ethical issues at stake.

(I’ve kept the format in order to preserve, hopefully, the rhythm of Moe’s thoughts.)

February 11, 2012

Near El Fahser in North DarfurTwo girls walk through the market in the Abushouk Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp, home to nearly 55,000 people, near the North Darfur capital El Fasher. (photo: Ian Timberlake/AFP/Getty Images)

I wasn't always a fan of Nicholas Kristof's columns in The New York Times. I'd found them at times simplistic — seeming to reduce the dramas of entire nations to individual stories of despair and/or hope. But I've discovered that there is an art and science to this approach. It was fascinating — and quite inspiring — to sit down and get inside his head on all of this.

November 09, 2011

Exploring the ChurchPhoto by Trey Ratcliff/Flickr, cc by-nc-nd 2.0

Picture this: an Iraqi reporter becomes interested in the work of a Jewish student in Israel after reading an article about Jewish-Muslim relations in medieval Spain that the student published online. The reporter contacts the student and interviews him about future prospects for Jewish-Muslim coexistence.

As the student in this story and co-author of this article, Joshua Stanton knows first-hand how technology is reshaping the way people of different religions interact. To start with, he and the Iraqi reporter would never have connected without the Internet, which enabled them to bypass regional politics and borders.

May 18, 2011

Personal MinistryPersonal ministry by bicycle. (photo: waferboard/Flickr, cc by-nc-sa 2.0)

Respected theologian Martin Marty has a winning article highlighting a mainstream news story that has finally gotten religion reporting right. The New York Times’ recent profile of a Baptist couple who spend their retirement doing disaster relief work stood out as a “too-rare” kind of reporting on religious people and topics as Martin Marty writes:

February 15, 2011

I teach at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Among my course offerings is religion coverage, an increasingly marginalized beat within a progressively problem-ridden industry.

Although religion is a key element in reporting on politics, culture, and society, cash-strapped news outlets are cutting back specialty beats to save money. Even more troublesome, legacy news jobs are fewer than ever, the news hole is shrinking, and the favored style of story telling is sensational, simplistic, and conflict-driven. Nevertheless, my goals remain the same: helping students to write clearly, think critically, and probe religion’s role in social and political trends and events.

For the last two years, I’ve pursued those goals by focusing on the fault-lines in the coverage of global religion. Using the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a starting point, I’ve asked students to find alternative frames for the conflict along with new voices to lift up and unsung stories to tell.

November 13, 2010

When the rapper Shyne's conversion is profiled, is Orthodox Judaism is used as just a hook?

November 09, 2010

1st Amendment
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution etched on the doors going into the Mass Media building at Western Kentucky University. (photo: Alan Hudson/Flickr)

July 28, 2010

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks at Press Conference on Afghanistan War Diary LeaksJulian Assange of WikiLeaks holds a copy of The Guardian newspaper that features a report using the site’s leaked documents on the Afghanistan war. (photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

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March 07, 2010

Our senior editor sees Kristof in a new light after watching Reporter in a hotel on location, and resolves to pitch him as a guest for this program.

August 25, 2009

A renowned photojournalist discusses the need to "see the humanity that exists" in conflict zones and "allow the people to touch us in some way."

September 23, 2008

In this TED talk, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt breaks down human moral values into five basic elements, then shows how an individual's placement on the liberal-conservative spectrum is determined by how much emphasis that person puts on each of these values.

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