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News & Press: Member News

Religion News Association Board welcomes Deepa Bharath

Tuesday, October 9, 2018  
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COLUMBIA, MO—Orange County Register Staff Writer Deepa Bharath became the 10th member of the Religion News Association Board last week when board members approved her to a temporary appointment by unanimous vote.

 Deepa Bharath

Bharath fills one of the 11 vacancies on the RNA Board and takes the place of Bob Smietana, who resigned from the board last year. RNA Bylaws require a board size of at least seven members and no more than 20. RNA members will vote on her election to a full three-year term next September during the member business meeting at the 2019 RNA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

"I'm honored and thrilled to serve as an RNA board member, and work with fellow journalists to further the organization's mission to improve religious literacy in newsrooms and to equip reporters with the resources and tools they need during these challenging times," Bharath said.

In her capacity as a staff writer for the Orange County Register and the Southern California News Group, Bharath covers religion and health. She has worked a number of beats in her award-winning career, from breaking news and politics to local government for Southern California newspapers including the Register, Los Angeles Times and the Daily Breeze. She was an International Center for Journalists fellow in 2013 and received a fellowship from the International Women's Media Foundation in 2015 to write a series of articles about former extremists' role in countering violent extremism.

"We are thrilled to have Deepa Bharath join the board," said RNA President Peter Smith. "She brings a wealth of experience and insight in covering religion both in the United States and internationally, and in covering the cultural fault lines over race, religion, sexuality and politics."

Bharath joins nine RNA Board members, who for 2018/19 include:

President: Peter Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Vice President: Kate Shellnutt, Christianity Today
Vice President: Betsy Shirley, Sojourners
Secretary: Simran Jeet Singh, NYU Center for Religion and Media
Treasurer: Ken Chitwood, University of Florida
Deepa Bharath, Orange County Register
Manya Brachear Pashman, Chicago Tribune
Jeff Diamant, Pew Research Center
Elaine Justice, Emory University
Liz Kineke, CBS Religion and Culture



About Religion News Association
RNA is the premier journalism association for people who write about religion in the news media. We offer training and tools to help journalists cover religion with balance, accuracy and insight. We are supported by our educational and charitable arm, the Religion News Foundation.



Tiffany McCallen

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