#RNA2017: Five takeaways from Religion News Association

#RNA2017: Five takeaways from Religion News Association

By Bobby Ross Jr. | GetReligion

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In advance of last week’s 68th annual conference of the Religion News Association, the Rev. Thomas J. Reese wrote an interesting column on the state of the Godbeat.

In case you hadn’t heard, this oft-quoted priest joined Religion News Service last month as a senior analyst and columnist focused on Catholicism, the Vatican and Pope Francis. His recent column featured a clever headline about “religion journalists singing country & blues in Nashville.”

Music City was, of course, the site of this year’s RNA conference. Reese wrote:

(RNS) This week I am looking forward to the annual meeting of the Religion News Association (Sept. 7-9) in Nashville, where I hope to see old friends and make new ones. I enjoy the company of journalists, who are almost always bright, articulate and funny. Religion reporters are a special breed because of their interest in values, religion and the transcendent.

There is also some sadness as I get ready to travel because I know many old friends will not be there. It is not that they have died, although some have. Rather, there are simply fewer religion writers today. They have either been laid off or jumped ship before they got pushed out.

So, when we get to Nashville, I am not sure whether we will be singing country or the blues.

Actually, Godbeat pros sang a few church hymns, as part of a session on congregational singing (and beer):

Read the full column.

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All of my GetReligion columns (September 2017):

• Harvey lesson: Sometimes, a complex disaster requires a simple feature focused on one person. Published Sept. 5.

• Folks of a certain political persuasion won’t like this Elizabeth Warren story, but here’s why it’s terrific. Published Sept. 6.

• #RNA2017: Religion journalists gather in Music City — and GetReligion is on the scene. Published Sept. 7.

• #RNA2017: Why USA Today’s Washington correspondent is looking for faith and religion stories. Published Sept. 8.

• #RNA2017: Five takeaways from the 68th annual conference of the Religion News Association. Published Sept. 12.

• This is why the media just can’t resist a chainsaw-wielding nun helping after Hurricane Irma. Published Sept. 13.

• About that prayer circle featured on New York Times front page: great writing or overly dramatic? Published Sept. 14.

• Yes, the ‘faith-based FEMA’ is crucial to the recovery effort after disasters such as Harvey, Irma. Published Sept. 15.

• In Supreme Court case of baker refusing to make same-sex wedding case, THIS is the question. Published Sept. 18.

• Chicago Tribune reporting on Wheaton College hazing incident seems solid, but pay close attention. Published Sept. 19.

• Hold on! Tell me again why places of worship are playing a pivotal role in hurricane relief. Published Sept. 20.

• No, drinking a Coke isn’t a sin for Mormons — and that was true before BYU welcomed caffeine. Published Sept. 21.

• Breaking news, meet expert religion reporting: Inside the Tennessee church shooting coverage. Published Sept. 27.

• Did the news media underplay the Tennessee church shooting? Not so fast with that criticism. Published Sept. 28.

• Can a public school superintendent pray at a mandatory assembly? That’s the question in Texas. Published Sept. 29.

• A motive in Nashville church shooting? Associated Press report cites possible retaliation for Charleston. Published Sept. 30.