From the RMIG head for December 2018

As head of the religion and media interest group, I would like to take a moment to express the current state of religious news content in the media.

In the current political climate, there have been horrific stories of the massacres in places of worship such as the shooting in the Pittsburgh synagogue. There has also been a coming together of different religious groups that have sometimes been described as being in opposition to one another. One example is the donations to the synagogue by Pittsburgh’s Muslim community. It is important to study the effects of media content, which includes both religious conflict and cooperation. Our members’ work can provide insight into best practices for journalists, news consumption and society.

In the spirit of collaboration, Dr. Greg Perreault and I have decided to increase the number of panels  co-sponsored  with other AEJMC groups. Our proposals, outlined in this newsletter, are a break with the tradition of having our separate competitions in order to examine the interaction of religious communication with politics, gender, entertainment and other topics. We will still have a paper competition, but we will present that via scholar-to-scholar to be able to provide additional collaborative research opportunities. In following our usual tradition, the top paper awards will be presented in our business meeting.

As we work toward finalizing programs for these meetings, please let us know if you are interested in being a panelist. Please note that final decisions will be the result of a process of negotiation with our co-sponsors. We will also pay careful attention to the diversity of the panelists.

As the 2018 calendar year draws to an end, I want to wish our members a happy season of holidays. We look forward to communicating with you further.

My best,
Mariam Alkazemi, Ph.D.
Robertson School of Media and Culture
Virginia Commonwealth University

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