Welp. It was quite a Fourth of July here in Oklahoma City.
Perhaps you heard the news about Thunder superstar Kevin Durant's Independence Day:
Yes, there's a religion angle. But we'll save that for a post later this week from our own tmatt, GetReligion's resident expert on faith and the NBA.
As I join my fellow Oklahomans in mourning Durant's departure, the day after the Fourth of July (that would make it July 5, right?) seems like an opportune time to update readers on four key developments on the Godbeat:
1. The Religion Newswriters Association is no more.
No, the professional organization for Godbeat pros has not disbanded. It's thriving, in fact. But it has a new name: Religion News Association:
Here's how a news release from RNA (yes, that acronym is still correct) explains the change:
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Effective Friday (July 1), the Religion Newswriters Association will be called Religion News Association. By a wide margin, voting members of the organization approved a bylaws measure this week to update the moniker.
The change comes at a time when RNA’s membership makeup is its most diverse. As the media landscape has morphed, converged and digitized over the last four decades, so, too, has RNA’s membership. Now, in addition to newspaper reporters and editors, its primary members hail from television, radio, online, magazine, publishing and education fields and they engage in reporting, writing, editing, photography, design, producing and disseminating religion news.
2. Oregonian religion writer Melissa Binder has left that newspaper:
You may recall that we did a 5Q+1 interview with Binder after The Oregonian resurrected its faith beat last summer.
No word yet on Binder's future plans or whether the Portland newspaper will fill her former post.
3. Mark Oppenheimer has stepped down as a monthly religion columnist for the New York Times:
For her part, Grossman describes her next step as "more like shifting to a different gear than retiring." But she says she's "very excited."
If you have any thoughts or questions about these developments, leave a comment below or tweet us at @GetReligion.
And if you have any advice for Oklahoma City Thunder fans struggling to accept Durant's California move, feel free to share that, too.