Online Course on International Coverage of Religion

Aug 12010

American and European journalists along with journalists from majority-Muslim countries critically examined religion coverage around the world in a new online course entitled "International Coverage of Religion" which was held from June 11 to July 23.

The course was held in English and Arabic, with translation available. It was followed by a mentoring period in which the instructors worked closely with the participants as they reported on religion stories. Participants were encouraged to work with another participant from a different cultural/religious background to write stories or opinion pieces together.

The best joint reporting project on religion done by participants in the course received an award in a ceremony that was held in New York City.

During the course, participants:

• Explored religion coverage around the world, sharing a wide range of international resources and professional approaches.
• Examined the ways religious context is essential in reporting on issues from regional and ethnic conflict to medical ethics.
• Examined case studies of reporting on religious conflict in the Sudan, the Balkans and Iraq.
• Shared critical insights, resources and strategies with one another on the experience of covering religion around the world.

The course was run by:

David Briggs: an award-winning journalist. He regularly has been published in newspapers throughout the world over the last 20 years, first as a national religion writer for The Associated Press, overseeing religion coverage for the news organization reaching 1 billion people a day, and then as a religion reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where his work also was distributed by Religion News Service and Newhouse News Service.

Briggs holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia and a Master's of arts in religion from Yale Divinity School.

Larbi Megari: a London-educated Algerian journalist and news coordinator for the Algerian Television. He has been working as a journalist for 15 years where he covered different issues, including religion, for publications like El-Nebaa, El-Hadath, El-Bilad and El-Khabar newspapers.

Megari is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Communications & Information Sciences in Pantheon-Assas University in France. He also has a Master’s of Arts and Mass Communications from London Metropolitan University in England.