Ford Foundation awards Winston grant to support reporting on religion and domestic issues

Knight Chair in Media and Religion Diane Winston received a $300,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to promote excellence in journalism. 

The project, “Promoting Excellence in Journalism Reporting on the Intersection of Religion and Domestic Issues,” aims to expand and enhance exemplary coverage of an underreported topic across media platforms.

Specifically, the project will examine how religion – a defining force for the articulation of morals, values and meaning – shapes opinions, attitudes and activities regarding domestic problems such as sexuality, immigration, poverty, housing and health care. The initiative addresses two key requirements for this type of socially engaged reporting. First, by supporting and promoting outstanding coverage that tackles issues and ideas that mainstream news media neglect; and second, by bringing together scholars and journalists to explore how religion can be a facilitator of social change movements as well as a retrograde force in social justice debates.

"At the heart of this project is the conviction that despite upheavals in the news industry, now — more than ever — Americans need exemplary journalism. In-depth and thorough coverage of significant issues enables informed public debate and decision making," Winston said. "This initiative promotes excellence in coverage at the intersection of religion and domestic issues such as sexuality, immigration, poverty, housing and healthcare."

Promoting Excellence in Journalism Reporting on the Intersection of Religion and Domestic Issues will fund a variety of activities including a fellowship for Domestic Reporting on Religion; master classes for USC Annenberg journalism students taught by fellows; a lecture series by fellows; seminars at USC convening journalists, graduate journalism students and scholars around the theme “Religion and Domestic Social Change”; and establish an online presence with a section of the Knight Chair website, Trans-missions, devoted to “Religion and Domestic Social Change.”

Ford Foundation