Greetings to the readers of GetReligion. As some of you may already know, Terry Mattingly and Doug LeBlanc have asked me to join this blog as one of its writers. I want to thank them for this opportunity and have been asked to say a few words about myself.
I am a 2004 graduate of Butler University in Indianapolis with a degree in journalism. From August 2004 to July 2007 I was a reporter in Washington, D.C., covering the administration of our nation's government for Government Executive. Past jobs/internships include stints at The Indianapolis Star, States News Service and The Roanoke Times.
In April 2007 I married my wife, Noelle.
As of August 2007 I started studying law at Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis. I was raised in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, and I am currently attending a Presbyterian Church of America congregation in downtown Indianapolis. I do not know exactly where a law degree will take me, but I plan to continue in some form or another in journalism.
My career has been heavily focused on hard news and I have shied away from commentary, though I did stray into the Star's editorial department for a semester internship and wrote a weekly column for my school's student newspaper.
For GetReligion, Terry has asked me to help him write commentary about the nation's newspaper coverage of religion and foreign coverage of religion. You should be hearing from me about once a day. I use the Web heavily for my news needs (though I do subscribe to The Washington Post), and once I'm online, it's all just news to me, whether it's U.S.-based or foreign.
Since my day job no longer involves covering the Bush administration (quite a broad range of issues, from the Pentagon to technology), I will be avidly looking out for stories that deal with the U.S. government. For instance, stories dealing with the Air Force Academy's religious controversy will be areas in which I hope to provide extra insight.
I adhere to general journalistic principles, including full disclosure, thorough reporting, fair treatment of all subjects involved, the nature of the press as that of a fierce watchdog, utter care for the accuracy of facts and information and the eternal struggle for impartiality.
I hope to use this space, as it has been used so well in the past, to examine the work of journalists who write about religion, to see if it strives for the journalistic creed by which we work and attempt to hold people accountable when they make mistakes. In the tradition of this blog, I hope to praise as much as condemn. I also hope to find some way of deviating from the usual right versus left and traditional versus modern debates, which tend to permeate most religious discussions, by highlighting stories of individuals and how their personal religious experience has affected their lives.