Four Fellows Accepted for IFYC/RNS 2021-22 Religion Journalism Fellowship
September 17, 2021
Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) and Religion News Service (RNS) began their inaugural IFYC/RNS Religion Journalism Fellowship in September 2021 with four journalists: Diana Kruzman; Sara Badilini; Tasmiha Khan; and Camille Daniels.
“We are excited to welcome a new generation of storytellers exploring religious diversity and interfaith cooperation,” says Eboo Patel, founder, and president of IFYC. “Religion in America is a wonderfully complex and constantly evolving landscape, and through this fellowship, we are eager to bring new perspectives into the stories that connect us.”
The 9-month fellowship aims to sustain the proud tradition of religious news by offering opportunities for journalists to deepen their understanding of religious expression in individual lives and civic life, and to develop skills specific to covering religion, belief, faith, and spirituality.
Over the past seven months, the Fellows have dived into the world of religion news through a series of mentorships and panel discussions with senior journalists like Adelle M. Banks and Yonat Shimron from RNS, Sarah Pulliam Bailey from The Washington Post, Monique Parsons from Interfaith America, and renowned writer and NYT commentator, Wajahat Ali.
With one-on-one editorial guidance from Paul O’Donnell and Paul Raushenbush, editors-in-chief at RNS and Interfaith America respectively, the Fellows reported on interfaith stories spanning diverse issues like anti-Muslim bias on campuses to rain gardens in houses of worship. The stories were edited by RNS and co-published on RNS and IFYC websites and carried by RNS’s partner, the Associated Press.
Some stories, like Diana Kruzman’s piece on Indigenous sacred sites in Ohio, and Sara Badilini’s piece on Muslims in interfaith relationships were republished by The Washington Post both online and in print.
“We’re very happy to be working with IFYC to foster these young journalists’ interest in religion reporting,” says Paul O’Donnell, Editor-in-Chief of Religion News Service. “Whether or not they continue to report exclusively on faith matters, we hope that their experience in the fellowship program will help them see and execute stories that capture the crucial role faith plays in the news and our world.”
The Fellows will also be attending the 72nd Annual Religion News Association (RNA) Conference at Bethesda, D.C, from March 24-26, where they will get the opportunity to network with senior religion journalists, publishers, editors, and reporters from across the country.
The fellowship will last through May 2022. It marks the first year of what is hoped to be a recurring fellowship.
IFYC is a national nonprofit that equips the next generation of citizens and professionals with the knowledge and skills needed for leadership in a religiously diverse world. Partnering with civic groups, higher education institutions, public health and business, IFYC is dedicated to making interfaith cooperation the norm and building Interfaith America in the 21st century.
Religion News Service (RNS) is an independent, nonprofit and award-winning source of global news on religion, spirituality, culture and ethics, reported by a staff of professional journalists. Founded in 1934, RNS seeks to inform readers with objective reporting and insightful commentary, and is relied upon by secular and faith-based news organizations in a number of countries.
Diana Kruzman is a freelance reporter whose work focuses on the intersection of the environment, religion and urbanism. She is particularly interested in how climate change impacts religious communities around the world as well as the role of religion in secular institutions. She has written for Undark, Earther, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Vice and the GroundTruth Project.
Read all Fellowship stories by Kruzman here.
Sara Badilini is an Italian journalist based in New York. As a journalist Badilini also covers religion, climate change and human rights. Previously, she worked as a local reporter and a freelancer. She has a Master’s degree in international law from the University of Trento and a Master’s degree from Columbia Journalism School.
Read all Fellowship stories by Badilini here.
Tasmiha Khan is a freelance writer from the Midwest. She champions marginalized communities, particularly the Muslim American population, including women and children. Her work has appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times, Forbes, The Daily Beast, Vox, and VICE, among others. Khan has been featured in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Hartford Courant, Southtown Star, and ABC News. Khan has also been named a 2020-2021 Higher Media Education Fellow among other awards.
Read all Fellowship stories by Khan here.
Camille Daniels is a recent graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse Public School of Communications where she was a graduate student studying Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism. She is a proud native of South Jamaica, Queens, New York. Her interests range from arts & culture, education, and business just to name a few. She enjoys writing, watching a great movie and can usually be found at the beach. Camille finds topics like religion fascinating because whether one believes or not it impacts culture at large and can make for great conversations.
Read all Fellowship stories by Daniels here.