What about religion on other beats?

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Religion reporters don’t have a monopoly on spirituality and generally appreciate it when other reporters acknowledge faith and belief in their stories — especially if it’s done well.

Some guidelines:

  • Whenever religion and faith are significant factors in a story, that should be acknowledged, no matter who is covering it. When a mother says God saved her baby from a fire, quote it. When a politician says his Catholic faith led him to vote against stem cell research, quote it. Better yet, ask more questions.
  • Include religion in breaking news and team coverage. When a student’s speech is censored because she talked about Jesus or when a mosque’s windows are shot out, religion journalists can help with coverage, provide sources and background, and/or urge editors and producers to explore where faith fits in.
  • Religion journalists should be good ambassadors for their beat. When another department is working on a story that touches on religion, offer sources and background to help them get the religion angle right.
  • Most religion stories overlap with other beats. If a faith leader is a radio personality, turf battles can be minimized if the entertainment and religion reporters coordinate.