Who makes a great religion journalist?

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

Other traits that are assets for religion journalists:

  • Respect for the role of faith in people’s lives.
  • Immense curiosity about religion and a willingness to learn — and keep learning — about it.
  • An abiding sense of fairness and balance, and an understanding that there are often more than two sides to a story.
  • The absence of any interest in pushing any religious viewpoint.
  • A commitment to covering all kinds of diversity — of faith, both within Christianity and outside of it, and of ethnicity, gender, economic status and geography.
  • Willingness to spend time with all sorts of people in the places where they live, gather and worship. Willingness to work through language and cultural challenges.
  • Strong news skills, because religion includes much more than feature stories.
  • The ability to accurately and fairly describe the nuances of different beliefs, even if you personally disagree with them or if a news report raises questions about them.
  • Excellent writing skills, with the ability to describe rituals in ways that invite readers and viewers into worlds they’ve never experienced and the ability to be precise about doctrines and beliefs.