September 13, 2012. (Romereports.com)
For journalists that cover religion, finding an audience may be difficult at times when there is no scandal or conflict to write about. There may be new developments in Church governance
or inter-religious relations, but these stories often don't carry the same amount of weight.
The International Association of Religion Journalists, known as the IARJ was created to promote the professional coverage of religious journalism at the same level as politics or the economy.
“They felt the same problems in the newsroom. They have to convince the bosses that this information about religion is relevant, that it's important to readers and viewers. So without that joining efforts to convince the media industry that information about religion is important to reflect the reality of the world that we be of help.”
The association has already attracted interest from journalists and bloggers from 90 countries. Many of them come from Africa and the Arab world where religion has become a key to understanding the realities of life there.
Members can join the association free of charge and share contacts and experiences on how they have reported on the different religions of the world.
ELISA DI BENEDETTO
Responsible membership, IARJ
“We have about 400 requests for this association from journalists, bloggers, new media journalists. They ask to be a part of this association for different reasons and are from different parts of the world. They are interested in religion, in dialogue and inter-culture religious issues. Even in conflict, we could see in these requests, there is a big interest in this issues”.
The group's website offers useful tools like a calendar of conferences, news articles, statistics, and a dictionary of religious terms that help in understanding and explaining information to a larger public.