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16 Times Media Found Religion in 2016


Here at TMP it's our mission to keep stories about the role of religion in public life around the world from slipping through the cracks. So, we want to highlight and congratulate those journalists and media outlets that do the hard work to find and report great religion stories.

TMP reached out to our leaders, our international network, and our friends over at GetReligion for examples of how journalists nailed the story or the religion angle in 2016.

There is a lot of good work being done even in newsrooms that have taken criticism for their handling of religion in the past. We hope to see more of this kind of solid reporting in the year ahead.


1/16 -  The AP's January 19 scoop on ISIS’ destruction of the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq was impressive. The monastery had survived 1400 years until ISIS arrived, and was recently used by US troops as a place of worship while they were stationed in Iraq. AP got word of the destruction and hired a satellite imagery firm to spy out what happened to the structure.

2/16 -  Alina Mosendz's UNN piece (in Ukrainian) "Cyborg Chaplain," looked at the role of clergy in the war front in eastern Ukraine and the battle for city of Donetsk. Ukraine's soldiers earned the name "cyborgs" for their fierce, robot-like defense of the city's airport with no sleep and few resources. The chaplains kept pace. Mosendz, a TMP member, let chaplain Andrii Poluhin speak in his own words. Poluhin was not allowed to fight, but only offer spiritual assistance. He was wounded in the fight, and talked about the hellish conditions and the "importance of looking for miracles" on the battlefield.

3/16 - The March 16 New York Times piece "ISIS, rape and birth control" is the kind of headline that makes you drop everything and click until the piece pops up in living color on your screen. This stunning feature and a companion article about the Islamic theology of rape was written by Rukmini Callimachi, a female reporter whose contacts in the region had access to Yazidi women. The article recorded more than three dozen interviews with freed Yazidi women who lived through this hell for 18 months.

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