Lilly Endowment Awards $4.9 Million for Religion Journalism Initiative

Lilly Endowment Awards $4.9 Million for Religion Journalism Initiative

The Religion News Foundation, Religion News Service, Associated Press, and The Conversation have announced a $4.9 million award over eighteen months from the Lilly Endowment to strengthen reporting on religion and ethics globally.

One of the largest investments in religion journalism in decades will establish the Global Religion Journalism Initiative, with the aim of expanding equitable religion news reporting and providing context and critical analysis with respect to current events through the lens of religious belief and practice. With the funding, the AP will add eight religion journalists, RNS will add three, and The Conversation — a nonprofit, academically driven publisher of commentary and analysis — will add two religion editors. Each organization will retain editorial control of its content, which will be distinctly labeled and distributed through the AP.

"This collaboration among RNF, the Associated Press, and The Conversation is groundbreaking and holds significant promise to increase both the volume and quality of religion news reporting," said Lilly Endowment vice president for religion Christopher L. Coble. "We believe the initiative will help ensure that fair and accurate news coverage about religion reaches broad audiences and improves understanding about how religion shapes national and international events."