You're familiar with the Godbeat, but what about the Jesus Beat? It's coming soon to RNS

You're familiar with the Godbeat, but what about the Jesus Beat?

It's coming soon to Religion News Service.

RNS is hiring a national reporter to cover Christians and Christianity:

The full job description:

Religion News Service seeks a National Reporter to cover Christians and Christianity for our award-winning news wire service and online news site. This full-time staff position reports to the Managing Editor and is responsible for filing breaking news, features and analysis. This position includes responsibility for identifying and managing a team of freelance reporters to assist in covering the beat. The position also includes occasional back-up editing to support the Managing Editor. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of five years experience in daily journalism, with a strong preference given to candidates with experience on the religion beat; knowledge of Christianity and a passion for understanding its permutations on a deeper level; knowledge of WordPress; social media savvy; and the ability to represent RNS to the public. This is a remote position.

Many readers may have noticed that your GetReligionistas have a love-hate relationship with RNS.

On the one hand, it's impossible to miss the importance to the Godbeat of a national wire service focused on religion news coverage. RNS' staff includes some of the best, smartest, most experienced Godbeat pros on the planet. This blog has urged support for RNS since we opened our doors 11 years ago.

On the other hand, RNS' subtle and sometimes not-too-subtle editorializing on certain topics concerns us — the frequent blurring of the lines between hard news content and commentary. This week for example, RNS' daily Slingshot newsletter linked to a Charlotte Observer story on North Carolina considering religious objection legislation. But rather than simply present the news, RNS couldn't resist this kicker:

'Cause it's working out so great in Indiana

Yes, we live in a snarky, Twitter-fueled age in which attitude and "branding" are important. But does RNS' edgy approach play into the hands of critics who question whether RNS has allowed funding sources to dictate its news coverage?

Just this week, I noticed these two tweets from former GetReligionistas:

And this controversy sparked discussion on social media a few years ago:

Alas, RNS also has a love-hate relationship with GetReligion. Minus the love part. (I kid. I kid.)

Full disclosure: I have written freelance stories for RNS, most recently in the spring of 2014.

Presumably, the new Jesus Beat correspondent will help RNS fill the gap left by the departure of national writer Sarah Pulliam Bailey, a GetReligion alumnus. Bailey, by the way, is already doing excellent work editing the The Washington Post's new "Acts of Faith" religion news blog. Check it out and bookmark it, if you haven't already.

We look forward to seeing who'll fill the Jesus Beat and wish RNS all the best in its search process. The application deadline is April 10. Once again, we are totally transparent about journalism doctrines that we advocate around here in our commentary work. We are 100 percent in favor of the traditional American model of the press and its standards for news coverage. For religion journalism, that means a heavy emphasis on hard news that offers accurate, balanced reporting on crucial debates and shows respect for believers on all sides.

In other Godbeat news, another prominent religion writer position is open: 

Stayed tuned.

When we hear whom RNS and the Courier-Journal select to fill those positions, we'll be sure to let you know.

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