The basics

Download all chapters of "Reporting on Religion" (PDF)

Ask people why they read or listen to news media and they’ll probably mention sports, politics, crime, schools, business and lifestyle features. Religion almost never makes the top of the list. But faith and spirituality are a powerful undertow in so many of the stories of our day. Too often, that undertow remains invisible to media audiences because journalists don’t acknowledge its persistent pull.

Life is full of tales of good versus evil, struggles amid hardship, transformation, reconciliation, forgiveness, success against the odds, grief, community and family — all themes highlighted by religious traditions. There are great stories to tell. Let’s get started.

What is religion news?

Religion news is any story in which religion, faith, spirituality or religious ethics plays a significant role. Any topic and any type of story can be religion news:

  • Breaking news, investigative reporting, trend stories, features, profiles and analysis.
  • International, national and local news, politics, sports, business, education, crime, arts and entertainment, science, health, lifestyles, fashion, travel, food and more.
  • Stories about one religion, several religions or the interaction among them; stories about institutional religion (individual houses of worship, denominations or entire religions); stories about religion or spirituality that take place outside institutional walls.

Beyond news, religion is a frequent topic of opinion columns, commentary, editorials and blogs.