This spring, the Wall Street Journal advertised for a Los Angeles-based religion reporter who'd not only cover the beat but pinch-hit on other stories. This pleased those of us who have wondered for years how one of America’s largest newspapers could neglect so huge a beat.
Since the early 1990s, the Journal’s religion coverage has been all over the map. At one point, the paper was running columns by one-time Journal religion reporter Gus Niebuhr down the left side of the front page. At other times, all you could find in its pages was a weekly freelance column called Houses of Worship. I wrote some religion pieces for the Journal from 2012-2014, most of which ended up in the entertainment blog.
So I was glad to see this ad. I’m guessing the Journal’s religion+breaking news beat out of the L.A. bureau was actually started a year or two ago by Tamara Audi, whose talents were spotlighted last year by my colleague Bobby Ross Jr. When Audi was promoted earlier this year, the Journal wanted to retain the same beat composition. This summer, the paper hired Ian Lovett, a 2006 Amherst College graduate. After a short stint at the Beverly (Hills) Press, he got hired on the Los Angeles bureau of the New York Times as a junior reporter in 2010. Then the Journal hired him this summer.