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Religion reporting conference to feature Islam, politics, atheism, Buddhism

Friday, September 2, 2011   (0 Comments)
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Sept. 2, 2011


Contact: Debra Mason


RNA Annual Conference to feature Islam, politics, atheism, Buddhism

COLUMBIA, MO.—"Muslims in America: The Next 10 Years” kicks off the 62nd Annual Religion Newswriters Association Conference Sept. 15–17, 2011, in Durham, N.C. The one-day pre-conference program (, presented by Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center with scholarship support from the Social Science Research Council, will be followed by two days of panels, discussions and networking in downtown Durham’s Marriott Hotel and Convention Center.

Each year, RELIGION | NEWSWRITERS brings together the nation's best religion reporters and leading religious scholars for three days to explore worldwide religion trends, hear from religion newsmakers and learn best practices for covering religion. About 150 journalists and speakers are expected.

Among the panelists this year is pre-conference keynoter Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, who will address leadership in a time of global religious crisis. Later, during regular conference programming, Akron University’s politics expert and Pew Forum research adviser John Green, will talk about the role of religion in the 2012 race for the White House.

Additional panelists include:

  • Michael E. Batts, chairman of the Commission on Accountability and Policy for the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, who will highlight investigations into evangelical ministries’ finances;

  • Russell Moore, dean of the school of theology at Southern Baptist Seminary and a leader in the evangelical adoption movement, who will speak about the urgency of caring for orphans;

  • Bart Ehrman, New Testament scholar and popular writer about early Christianity, who speak on a panel about the atheist movement;

  • Social media gurus from The Huffington post and other outlets, who can help reporters navigate Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.

The final day of the conference features several special events—a lunch and tour of a Fo Guang Shan International Buddhist Progress Society Temple, a silent auction to benefit the conference’s scholarship fund and RNA’s Awards Banquet honoring winners of its numerous contests for religion reporting.

Registration information and the complete schedule can be found here:

RELIGION | NEWSWRITERS is the world’s only association for journalists who write about religion in the general circulation news media. We strive to promote excellence in media coverage by creating tools and training, including: RELIGION | LINK story ideas and sources; a religion stylebook, primer and frequently asked questions about the religion beat. For more information or how to join RNA, see



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