New digital magazine platform to showcase religion reporting

By Paul Glader

With fewer newspapers employing religion reporters and publishing religion reporting, how do journalists interested in religion land bylines and publish their work?

ReligionUnplugged.com is a new, non-profit journalism platform designed to help develop a new ecosystem for religion reporting in the U.S. and the world. The site publishes at least one story per day on its site, distributing its content via social media and in an email newsletter as well.

Paul Glader

The editors, based in New York City, welcome story pitches from both seasoned journalists worldwide as well as from student journalists and journalism professors who have a strong pitch. We pay $100 per original story and more if they come with high-quality original photos or other multimedia assets.

Although we welcome original scoops, we also welcome step-back reporting that shows broader trends or a fresh angle. We realize that other news organizations such as the Associated Press, Religion News Service, Catholic news outlets and other faith-based publications cover a good deal of religion-related news. ReligionUnplugged aims to provide more magazine-style enterprise reporting about religions and religious people around the world.

While it welcomes smart pieces about political conflict within religion or about religion in society, it also appreciates wholistic coverage about religion in society and culture. That means we welcome interviews, profiles, in-depth pieces, data journalism investigations and video mini-documentaries. We also green light reporting and reviews about religion in film and TV, theater, music, literature and other parts of the arts. We have a new feature called “Pilgrimages” that reports on religion-related travel destinations.

Any stories published on ReligionUnplugged can be republished by other news outlets as long as they identify that the piece first appeared at RUP and link back to the original. The site publishes content by seasoned religion reporting veterans such as retired AP religion reporter Dick Ostling and Ira Rifkin, alongside new religion reporters such as stories from undergraduates and graduate students from former former New York Times religion reporter Dr. Ari Goldman’s religion reporting class at Columbia Journalism School.

ReligionUnplugged was created and funded by The Media Project, a non-profit journalism training organization with offices in NYC and Irvine, California. It conducts training programs for hundreds of journalists around the world on five continents. It includes religion reporting as a key topic in each one of its training programs. With more than 1,400 member journalists around the world, many Media Project members send freelance reports to ReligionUnplugged from their countries.

We welcome AEJMC members to use content from ReligionUnplugged in their classrooms. We welcome AEJMC members and their students to pitch stories to ReligionUnplugged. They can email executive editor Paul Glader at Paul@TheMediaProject.org or managing editor Melissa Harrison at Melissa@TheMediaProject.org.

About The Media Project: TMP empowers journalists to provide a more profound understanding of the role of religion in public life through accurate, thorough and intellectually honest reporting. Our organization educates journalists on the importance of religion at training programs worldwide. We welcome friends from all faiths to these events and discussions.

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