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Religion and the news

28 October 2016

Prayer against sunset

At a time when religion is hitting headlines every day, knowledge and understanding of faith and its place in our world has never been more important.

Now, Dr Michael Munnik, of the School of History, Archaeology and Religion, is helping to put this topic firmly on the agenda by contributing to Wales’ first training event for journalists on religion.

When Religion Makes the News is a one-day National Union of Journalists’ workshop which will concentrate on the importance for journalism of grasping and interpreting the powerful impetus of religion on the world today.

It is designed to open up religious literacy – how religion shapes lives, politics and conflict - by offering expertise, resources and the space to discuss approaches.

As part of the event, Dr Munnik – who is a former radio journalist – will share a case study from his research and lead a forum enabling participants to share experiences and dilemmas.

Dr Munnik said: “Fifteen years ago, it was easy for journalists and editors to ignore religion. Religion was seen as fusty, antiquated, and—perhaps worst for journalism—untrue. That all changed when the hijacked planes brought down the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in 2001..."

"Religion matters, and religion makes good copy. In our inter-connected world, the responsibility to understand, place in context and present the news with an understanding of religion has never been more important."

Dr Michael Munnik Senior Lecturer in Social Science Theories and Methods, Director of Learning and Teaching

“In the workshop, we will explore political correctness, the gap between what people believe and what they do, hardliners and liberals, and especially what counts as authority, or who counts as an expert or spokesperson.

"Relationships between journalists and their sources are, for me, really important in improving coverage. I hope this event brings some of those people together in the same room so they can meet and get to understand each other a little better.”

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