BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Students, prominent scholars and prominent journalists from Algeria, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States will join the audience April 24-26 for the premiere “represent religionsymposium at Indiana University, with the aim of raising the standards of reporting on religion.
Participants will analyze examples of storytelling and describe how journalism and other forms of media can create more ethical, accurate, and humanized portrayals of people caught in situations involving religion.
“Our mission is to build bridges between academics and journalists, showcase best practices in reporting, and help better inform the public,” said the IU Media School practice professor. Elaine Monaghanorganizer of the conference, which is funded by a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies Program in Religion, Journalism, and International Affairs.
“IU’s Department of Religious Studies looks forward to this exciting new collaboration to elevate the standard of religious reporting in the United States,” said Professor Winnifred Sullivanan eminent scholar of religion and collaborator in the Project funded by the ACLS underlying the lecture, Perceptions of Religion. Sullivan and other faculty from the Media School’s IU, College of Arts and Sciences Department of Religious Studies, and School of Global and International Studies will also participate in the symposium, with opening remarks from the Dean of the Media School, James Shanahan.
Monaghan students Ireland and Northern Ireland Reporting Course will present and discuss the work they have produced following a spring break trip to Dublin, Belfast and other locations in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Bringing together students of international studies, journalism and religious studies, this interdisciplinary work is at the heart of the Perceptions of Religion project. Monaghan and Sullivan collaborated closely on the course and led the trip.
Symposium presenters from the world of journalism include:
- Zohra BensemraReuters Chief Photographer in North West Africa, and Tania Rachid, an international journalist who has just returned from covering the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar. They will discuss how they humanize their subjects in the rapidly changing world of visual journalism.
- Tom Heneghanthe first religious editor of the international news agency Reuters, who will deliver framing remarks on “the state of journalism”.
- Debra Masona journalism professor at the University of Missouri and a leading scholar and trainer on how religion is portrayed in the media, who will bring her deep expertise to the event.
- Based in Ireland Susan McKayauthor of “Northern Protestants: An Unsettled People” and award-winning documentary filmmaker Ruth O’Reilly, who covered Northern Ireland and hailed from Belfast. They will bring important perspectives as journalists and writers affected by the very conflict and tensions they covered.
Matt Dorffounder and president of the Washington, D.C.-based strategic communications firm West End Strategy Team and his colleague Shannon Craig Straw will participate in a live studio discussion on religion, advocacy and current affairs.
Participants will also hear Gail DeGeorgeeditor-in-chief of Global Sisters Report, an independent, nonprofit source of news and information about Catholic sisters and the critical issues facing the communities they serve.
Rosemary Pennington, assistant professor of journalism in the Department of Media, Journalism and Film at the University of Miami, will discuss her research on how the media portrays members of marginalized or minority groups, with a particular focus on representations of Muslims . Pennington received her master’s degree in journalism and her doctorate. in UI mass communications.
Therese Lynchassistant professor in the School of Communication at Ohio State University, who focuses on dehumanization, sex, and gender in video games, and Greg Perreault, assistant professor of multimedia journalism at Appalachian State University, will discuss representations of religion in games. Lynch is also an alumnus of IU, with a master’s degree in telecommunications and a doctorate. in mass communications.
Indiana University’s School of Media builds on decades of journalism and communications tradition at one of the nation’s leading public universities. Established on July 1, 2014, it includes the century-old journalism program, the more than half-century-old telecommunications department, and film studies. Drawing on the expertise of faculty, the school aims to prepare students for 21st century media careers that require proficiency in language and communication, research skills, and technology.