Category Archives: Religion Reporting

Religion in the News – the latest from Pew

Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism and Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life just released the latest Religion in the News report – Islam and Politics Dominate Religion Coverage in 2011.  A couple of key findings include:

  • Religion accounted for 0.7% of all mainstream media coverage studied in 2011, down from 2.0% in 2010
  • 6 of the top 10 religion stories in 2011 were about Islam
  • Twitter users gave less prominence to religion in 2011 than in 2010

Read this and other studies at the Project for Excellence in Journalism's Studies section.

Religion Resources – who believes what, how many of them are there, and where?

At Columbia, as well as on the web at large, there are some great resources for religion reporting. Here are some good places to get started…

For statistical and survey data on religion in the United States, the Association of Religion Data Archives, a free website, is an excellent place to begin, with estimates on numbers of adherents and even an interactive mapping component which displays data by county or metropolitan area. (TIP: Try the Sitemap link for an overview of the contents of the website, and click on Related Sites for other websites to explore.)

Another free, and quite unique, resource for religion research on the web is This site consists of a collection of citations related to religion adherent statistics, and religious geography citations, from thousands of published sources. While not as easy to use as the ARDA site, is noteworthy for the range and scope of data, and the fact that it includes information on non-U.S. religions.

At Columbia, the ATLA Religion Database (access restricted to current Columbia affiliates) enables you to search citations from scholarly religion journals and books. Some sources are available in full text via the ATLA database, while others may be accessed by following the e-Link (which automatically locates online journal availability in other databases).

Finally, there are two noteworthy seminary libraries at which Columbia students, faculty and staff have access and borrowing privilieges. The Burke Library of the Union Theological Seminary is the largest theological library in the western hemisphere. Its holdings are included in CLIO. The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, first founded in 1893, holds a large general collection of Jewish studies publications, as well as special collections and rare items. Its catalog is ALEPH.

Religion in the News

Are you new to or interested in religion reporting? A great resource for keeping up with religion issues as they intersect with the news media is the magazine, Religion in the News, published by the Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College (CT) You can link to full magazine archives from the main Center website.

Just a quick reminder here that the subject categories on this blog are designed with you in mind. If you’re interested in other posts on, say, religion reporting, just follow the link at the start of this post (or in the left-hand margin) and you’ll see them all…

Resources for News21, 2007

Today, we’ll be looking at the AP Multimedia Archive, which is a source for content (images, audio, and text) from the Associated Press, back to as early as 1844.

If you’re looking for maps, here is a link to databases licensed by Columbia University Libraries that have maps in them. The CIA World Factbook is a very good source of simple reference maps. Another good online source for maps is the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection from the University of Texas. They’ve scanned hundreds of maps and made them available online.

You may want to see some of the religion reporting resources I have mentioned previously on this blog. Also, remember that in addition to the Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary (whose holdings are listed in CLIO, you have access to the Jewish Theological Seminary Library, which has a separate catalog, ALEPH.