Religion News Service (RNS) and Interfaith America are pleased to announce the 2022-2023 RNS/IA Religion Journalism Fellowship.
This fellowship, returning for its second year, will run from September 2022 to March 2023. This fellowship serves to develop future religion news journalists by deepening their understanding of religious expression in individual lives and civic life and to develop skills specific to covering religion, belief, faith, and spirituality.
As the fellowship program focuses on stories around religious diversity in the U.S., and includes some in-person convenings, this program is limited to applicants from within the U.S. only at this time
“The community of inquiry and learning that we built in the inaugural year of the 2021-22 RNS/IA Fellowship was every bit as exciting and rewarding as the excellent journalism that came out of it,” says Paul O’Donnell, editor-in-chief at Religion News Service. “As we’d hoped, the four fellows improved their religious literacy, but they also brought their own concerns and deepened everyone’s understanding of how faith fits into the issues that they care about.”
The 2022-23 fellowship builds on the success of the inaugural class, in which more than a dozen stories by four fellows appeared on RNS and in RNS subscriber publications.
One of the inaugural fellows, Diana Kruzman, focused her storytelling on the intersection of environmentalism and religion.
“As an early-career reporter, the fellowship has been invaluable in helping me get the chance to explore religion stories when I otherwise may not have had the chance to do so,” says Kruzman. “I’ve learned so much about the field from professional journalists working on religion coverage and feel much more confident in my ability to report on the variety of faiths and spiritualities that undergird all aspects of life – in the US and internationally.”
One of Kruzman’s pieces was republished by The Washington Post online and was also published in print.
The other fellows, Camille Daniels, Sara Badilini, and Tasmiha Khan, also wrote stories that focused on the convergence of religion and their interests in environment, education, and other fields.
Over the course of seven months, fellows had the opportunity to speak with some of the nation’s leading religion journalists including Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Adelle Banks, Yonat Shimron, Whitney Bauck, Wajahat Ali, Monique Parsons, and former NYT religion reporter Laurie Goodstein.
This year, fellows will again dive deeply into the world of religion news through a series of mentorships with senior journalists, workshops, journalist panels, editorial meetings, tutoring on critical religion resources, and a fully paid trip to the Religion News Association Conference.
The fellows will be awarded a $4000 stipend and expected to report and write at least one feature religion story per month, which will be published on the RNS website and the Interfaith America Magazine, and will receive a fellowship certificate upon completion.
Who is eligible to apply?
Applications are open to all journalism graduates who have completed their degree in the past three years, and to freelance reporters who may not have a journalism degree but have at least a year of relevant reporting experience.
When will applicants hear back about the fellowship?
Applications will be accepted through June 30th. RNS and IA will then review all applications and begin the interview process. Once the four Fellows are selected, we will follow up with each applicant with the decision (no later than July 29th).
What are the fellowship expectations?
All stories will be planned during monthly editorial meetings and edited by RNS. The stories will be co-published on RNS and Interfaith America websites. Fellows are expected to produce at least one in-depth feature story per month (seven stories for seven months.)
To receive the fellowship certificate, fellows must have published at least 4 feature stories by the end of the fellowship and attended all monthly editorial meetings and guest speaker sessions.
What’s the fellowship timeline?
The fellowship will begin with an orientation session on August 31st and run through March 2023.
What does the fellowship include?
A $4000 stipend, workshops and sessions with renowned religion reporters from across the nation, one-on-one mentorship with RNS and Interfaith America Magazine editorial teams, opportunities to attend editorial meetings and network with reporters and editors in the field, and a fully paid trip to the Religion News Association Conference.
How to apply
To apply, fill out this online form. Application deadline is on June 30th, 2022.
For further questions and inquiries email [email protected]
About Interfaith America
Interfaith America (formerly known as Interfaith Youth Core) is a national nonprofit that equips the next generation of citizens and professionals with the knowledge and skills needed for leadership in a religiously diverse world. Partnering with civic groups, higher education institutions, public health and business, Interfaith America is dedicated to making interfaith cooperation the norm and building Interfaith America in the 21st century.
Religion News Service (RNS) is an independent, nonprofit and award-winning source of global news on religion, spirituality, culture and ethics, reported by a staff of professional journalists. Founded in 1934, RNS seeks to inform readers with objective reporting and insightful commentary, and is relied upon by secular and faith-based news organizations in a number of countries.
In support of the movement for racial justice within the United States, Interfaith America and Religion News Service are committed to supporting work at the intersection of racial equity and interfaith cooperation. We believe in the essential contributions of countless religious and secular traditions that affirm dignity and justice for every human being. We recognize and celebrate that movements for a better world—including the anti-Apartheid movement, and Civil Rights movement—have been fueled by interfaith cooperation. All of our programs and projects incorporate a lens of equity and inclusion.