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About the author

Diane Connolly is the founding editor of ReligionLink, Religion Newswriters’ free Internet news service on religion, public policy and culture. Before that, she was religion editor at The Dallas Morning News. During her tenure, the staff won seven awards for producing the best newspaper religion section in the country. She has a master’s of theological studies degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University.

About the editor

Dr. Debra L. Mason is executive director of Religion Newswriters Association and the founding executive director of the Religion Newswriters Foundation. Under her leadership, RNA has become the world’s preeminent trainer for journalists writing about religion and no other Web site has more resources to help writers cover religion with balance, accuracy and insight. She is the author of numerous articles on religion reporting and co-edited the only collection of religion news reports: Reporting on Religion, with Judith Buddenbaum. She has a master’s of theological studies from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, a master’s in journalism from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from Ohio University.


This guide is possible because of the expertise, ingenuity, camaraderie and commitment of dozens of religion journalists from the Religion Newswriters Association. What is written here was learned from them. They are also responsible for two predecessors to this guide that were invaluable resources: A Guide to Religion Reporting in the Secular Media: Frequently Asked Questions (2002) and Deities & Deadlines: A Primer on Religion News Coverage by John Dart (1995, 1998).

Special thanks are due to ReligionLink staff — Mary Gladstone, Kate Fox, David Gibson, Juli Cragg Hilliard, Marilyn C. Lewis, Marcia Z. Nelson, Leslie Scanlon, Janet Perez, Kimberly Winston and Beryl Benderly — as well as to Jeffrey Weiss, Holly Lebowitz Rossi, Adelle Banks and Michael Kress.

Art Credits

Artwork for cover, title page, pages 4, 12, 22, 34, 80, 88, 94 and back cover: Photo illustrations by Jamie Huckaby; photo courtesy PhotoDisc Vol. 26, The Object Series: Info Media 2, 1997. Artwork for pages 36, 38, 58, 64 and 78 courtesy of PhotoDisc Volumes of World Religions Version 2, 1999.