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Knight Luce Fellowship Set for Reporting on Religion

Knight Luce Fellowship Set for Reporting on Religion
USC Annenberg professor Diane Winston holds the Knight Chair in Media and Religion.

Applications are being accepted until Dec. 17 for the Knight Luce Fellowship for Reporting on Global Religion, it was announced by the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.

Sponsored by the Knight Chair in Media and Religion and funded by a grant from the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs, the fellowship offers stipends for American journalists to report and write stories that illuminate how religion crosses geographic, temporal and ideological borders and how it establishes real and virtual boundaries.

Staff reporters, affiliated freelancers and self-employed Web journalists working in the United States or abroad who cover politics, social and cultural issues are encouraged to apply along with religion specialists and generalists. Successful applicants will be awarded stipends from $5,000 to $25,000 to subsidize travel, living and miscellaneous costs.

“The 21st century has seen an unprecedented movement of people across borders as well as the revitalization of experiential spiritual politics and the resurgence of religious politics,” said Diane Winston, holder of the Knight Chair in Media and Religion at USC Annenberg. “However, at the same time, reporters who want to pursue in-depth, investigative pieces told through multiplatform media often lack institutional support for their work. The Knight Luce Fellowship encourages working journalists to consider what these dynamics reveal about personal identity, political power, the nature of conflict and the construction of community and provides them with the means to report and distribute the story.”

Within the six-month period of their fellowship, fellows will travel outside the United States to report stories that explore how religion, religious institutions and religious people bring about change in social, political and economic conditions. The fellows might examine how ideas and ideologies circulate among home and diaspora communities or how religious and political coexistence and cooperation are promoted or inhibited. These stories will be developed for delivery on multiple platforms – print, radio, TV and online.

At the completion of their projects, several fellows will be invited to spend three days in residence at USC to present their work, hold master classes for journalism students and give public lectures for the USC community.

Thanks to a previous Luce grant, USC scholars have developed a master’s program in religion and international relations set to begin in 2011; sponsored conferences on religion and international affairs; seeded course development on religion and international relations; and engaged a new crop of doctoral students to study religion and international affairs.

The Knight Luce grant will continue along this same trajectory, generating both on-campus discussions that will have curricular and programmatic benefits on campus as well as news reporting that will impact the real world.

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