Overseas Religion Reporting Fellowships

Promoting Excellence in Global Coverage of Religion

A Project of the International Center for Journalists Funded by the Henry Luce Foundation

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) brought together 12 journalists – half from the United States and half from other countries – in Washington for a three-day conference aimed at improving coverage of religion around the world. Each journalist from the United States was teamed with a journalist from another country to work together on joint-reporting projects examining religion issues of interest to each country.

The gathering is the fifth that ICFJ has held bringing together journalists who cover religion issues. The Washington conference was led by Steve Franklin, a longtime reporter with the Chicago Tribune previously based in Jerusalem and Cairo and co-creator of a course for U.S. journalists on covering Islam, and Susan Hogan, an editorial writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune who has covered religion throughout the United States.

U.S. and international journalists were invited to join the conference based on their participation in the online courses or their experience covering religion issues. Among the international journalists participating is Syed Nazakat of India, who was honored during the conference with the Christiane Amanpour Award for Religion Reporting for his coverage of efforts in Saudi Arabia to reform Al Qaeda fighters.

During the conference, journalists formed cross-national teams to jointly cover global religion issues. Teams will work together while reporting on stories to be published or broadcast in their media organizations, though the final stories produced may be different in each country. International journalists remained in Washington after the conference to do reporting in the United States, and U.S. journalists will travel abroad for up to 2 ½ weeks at their convenience after the conference.

ICFJ’s goal is to improve global journalists’ reporting skills and significantly expand and enhance the resulting coverage of social and religious issues. Throughout the process, journalists would build important relationships among themselves, establish useful linkages with academics and reach policymakers personally and through their reporting.

For examples of past projects, please click here.