Creating an International Association of Religion Journalists

A Project to Improve Coverage of Islam in Muslim and Non-Muslim Countries

Partnering with the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), ICFJ is improving the climate of dialogue on Islam and religion worldwide by creating an innovative, 20-month program to provide Muslim world and global journalists with the resources, support and organization to promote fair and balanced reporting on religion. The project will raise awareness of the diversity of beliefs and practices in Islam, both among Muslim and non-Muslim journalists. It will also address broader issues of religious tolerance and how societies cope with religious diversity.

The project will develop and run three six-week online courses for up to 120 journalists (on coverage of Islam and religion in the digital age, religious conflict, and religious minorities), conducted simultaneously in Arabic and English; offer six months of online mentoring to help participants develop and report stories; create 20-25 reporting teams between journalists from different countries; develop an International Association of Religion Journalists; create an eight-person global board of directors to lead the association; host a conference and training in Italy for 22 charter members of the association; develop resources and modules to train journalists to effectively use the ARDA database and other Web resources in religion reporting; and create the new association’s Web site in Arabic and English.

The media is a powerful tool for understanding and promoting religious views. By improving professional skills, accessing new resources, dialoguing with colleagues from other Muslim and non-Muslim countries, and working together in joint-reporting projects and in forming an association, program participants will learn to engage the subject of religion more openly and free of bias, and simultaneously more respectfully and more critically.

Our Stories



  • 06/07/2012
  • 06/06/2012
  • The courses supported by the Henry Luce Foundation grant will help attract new members to the International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ), which officially launched in March.