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A letter from Jeff Diamant, RNA Board Member

I had covered other beats for nearly a decade before becoming the Newark Star-Ledger’s religion writer in 2003. And from my first sustained encounters with fellow religion journalists, whether at RNA conferences or bishops’ meetings, I noticed something special about them as a group.

They were generous with their time and expertise. They were insightful and fun to hang out with. They were top-shelf reporters, full of the competitive edge that makes us all tick, yet they were nice to each other. And they found religion coverage particularly fulfilling, even if it wasn’t always the most highly prized beat in the newsroom (though we agreed it should have been).

I’m not suggesting that wanting to cover the God beat stems from superior character. But if you’ve been to RNA conferences, you know what I mean about the organization. You’ve met interesting, helpful colleagues. You’ve gained front-page story ideas from panel discussions. You’ve probably hoisted a few with other excellent journalists who you now count as friends. I left the beat in 2010—actually, I left journalism—to study American religious history in a doctoral program, yet I haven’t missed a conference since, and I have remained active in RNA. It’s a terrific group with an important mission.

Everything that a professional organization is supposed to do, RNA does well for members like you. It helps with networking. It attracts can’t-miss speakers to its conferences. It publishes educational tools such as ReligionLink and the “Reporting on Religion” primer. And it has somehow managed to stay afloat during tough financial times. Actually, scratch “somehow,” because it’s no mystery. It’s because people like you have donated to the Religion Newswriters Foundation, our charitable arm. Please continue your history of donating this holiday season, or, if you’ve never had the pleasure, please make now your first time. Remember, no donation is too small. (Or too large!) They all make a difference.

It’s simple enough. Click the “Donate Now” button below, or log on to RNA.org and click the donate button. The other RNA board members and I will be extremely grateful. So will your other colleagues.

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DONATE BY CHECK: Please fill out the online donation form by clicking the "Donate Now" button below, and select "Check" for the payment method. Checks can be made payable to Religion Newswriters Foundation and mailed to: Religion Newswriters, 30 Neff Annex, Columbia, MO 65211.

 

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