FAQ authors & editors

Charles Austin is a former religion reporter for The Record, a daily newspaper in Hackensack, N.J., and has been a religion reporter for The New York Times, an editor with Hearst News Service, and director of news for the Lutheran Church in America.
Adelle M. Banks is the senior correspondent at Religion News Service, a Washington-based wire service that covers religion and ethics and whose clients include secular and religious publications. Before coming to RNS in 1995, she worked at The Orlando Sentinel, the Providence Journal and newspapers in upstate New York.
David Briggs is a religion writer for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer and president of the Religion Newswriters Association in 2001-2002. He was the national religion writer for The Associated Press before coming to The Plain Dealer in 1998. He also was a religion writer for The Buffalo News before joining AP.
Tiffany Compan, designer of the print edition of this FAQ, is in her second year with Religion Newswriters. She is a journalism graduate of Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, where she was editor of the student newspaper.
Sandi Dolbee has been a journalist since 1973, working as a reporter and editor in newspapers in Washington state and California. She was the religion & ethics editor of The San Diego Union-Tribune and now freelances. She serves on the RNA Board and the board of its foundation.
David Gibson has been covering religion full time since 1994, first at the Bergen Record and then at the Star-Ledger in Newark. He was born in Plainfield, N.J., attended Furman University in South Carolina and covered the Vatican for several years in the late 1980s. He now works for Religion News Service.
Laurie Goodstein is national religion correspondent at The New York Times, and before that covered religion at The Washington Post. She has won numerous top awards for her religion coverage. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.
Susan Hogan/Albach has covered religion for 13 years. A winner of the RNA’s Cornell Award, she’s presently a religion reporter at The Dallas Morning News. She served as committee chair for RNA’s scholarship committee.
Cecile S. Holmes, former religion editor at The Houston Chronicle, is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of South Carolina. A correspondent for Religion News Service, she is a past RNA president and the author of Witnesses to the Horror, a book about survivors of the Nazi Holocaust.
Don Lattin is an award-winning religion writer formerly with The San Francisco Chronicle, and the co-author of Shopping for Faith-American Religion in the New Millennium, published in April 2000. He is now a freelancer.
Julia Lieblich was the religion writer for the Chicago Tribune. Her work has appeared in such publications as The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Time, Life and Ms. She is the author of Sisters: Lives of Devotion and Defiance and now works as an assistant professor of specialized journalism at Loyola University in Chicago.
Debra L. Mason is RNA’s executive director and a former award-winning religion reporter. In addition to her reporting career, Mason taught journalism and advised a college newspaper. She co-edited the only anthology of religion reporting, Readings on Religion as News.
Richard N. Ostling is a freelancer, former Associated Press religion writer, and the co-author (with wife Joan) of Mormon America. He was Time magazine’s religion writer for 19 years and has also covered the field for CBS Radio and public television’s “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.”
Michael Paulson was the religion reporter for the Boston Globe and now writes for the New York Times. He previously covered city hall, state government and Congress for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, state and national politics for the San Antonio Light, and local and regional issues for The Patriot in Massachusetts.
Kim Sue Lia Perkes is an award-winning journalist who has worked as the religion editor for the Arizona Republic and religion writer for the Austin American-Statesman in Texas. Other job stints include political reporter, urban growth reporter and features editor. Currently, she is a freelance journalist and media consultant.
Ira Rifkin has been a National Correspondent for Religion News Service, News Director for Beliefnet.com, Deputy Editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times and Religion Writer for The Los Angeles Daily News. He has contributed to numerous national publications and is the editor of Spiritual Innovators.
Richard Scheinin has covered religion and ethics for the San Jose Mercury News since 1992. A baseball lover, he is the author of Field of Screams: The Dark Underside of America’s National Pastime, published in 1994.
Jeffery L. Sheler covered religion for U.S. News & World Report in the 1990s and prior to that worked for UPI. He is on the board of the Religion Newswriters Association and its Foundation. He is the author of Is the Bible True? and now works at the Norfolk Pilot-Ledger.
Melanie B. Smith has been religion writer for The Decatur Daily in Alabama for nearly 24 years. She is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, has done graduate work in communications at Auburn University and has won several awards from the Religion Newswriters Association.
Jeffrey Weiss joined the religion beat for The Dallas Morning News in 1996. Prior to covering religion, he spent six years as a general assignment reporter and three years covering social services. Before, he worked for the Miami Herald, his hometown paper, for eight years.
Gayle White is a freelancer and 40-year veteran of the newspaper business formerly on the religion beat for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She is a past president of RNA, past winner of the Templeton award for Reporter of the Year, and author of Believers and Beliefs, a guide to religious doctrine, practice and etiquette.