Friday Five: RNS staff hirings, LA Times death, Messiah Trump, Pete Buttigieg's faith, Chick-fil-A


There’s news concerning that $4.9 million Lilly Endowment Inc. grant that will fund 13 new religion journalists at The Associated Press, Religion News Service and The Conversation.

RNS announced this week that it has hired three new journalists related to the grant: Roxanne Stone as managing editor, Alejandra Molina as a national reporter and Claire Giangravè as Vatican reporter.

In other Godbeat news, the Los Angeles Times reported on the death at age 76 of K. Connie Kang, a pioneering Korean American journalist:

Connie Kang covered religion in her final years at The Times. After leaving the paper in 2008, the deeply devout Christian decided to become a minister. She graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2017 and shortly after passed the U.S. Presbyterian Church’s ordination exam. Her dream was to build a Christian school in North Korea.

Finally, if you’re interested in how a leading religion journalist approaches her job, check out this podcast featuring the New York Times’ Elizabeth Dias:

Now, let’s dive into the Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: “Messiah Trump” story was the major religion news this week.

Among the most interesting coverage: Sarah Pulliam Bailey’s Washington Post story headlined “‘I am the chosen one’: Trump again plays on messianic claims as he embraces ‘King of Israel’ title.”

2. Most popular GetReligion post: We have a repeat winner.

For the second straight week, Julia Duin’s post headlined “Liberal white Catholic parish vs. new conservative black priest = clumsy Oregonian story” occupies the top spot.

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): Much has been written about Pete Buttigieg and his faith here at GetReligion.

If you missed it, I enjoyed CNN Religion Editor Daniel Burke’s recent in-depth piece on Buttigieg’s religious journey.

4. Shameless plug: In a recent Friday Five, Richard Ostling updated us on longtime Associated Press religion writer Rachel Zoll.

Response to that post prompted this note from Ostling:

GetReligion's recent update on Associated Press Religion Writer Rachel Zoll, who was diagnosed with brain cancer last year, brought inquiries on where colleagues on the beat can send her notes and cards. She is living with sister Cheryl. and you can write her c/o 38 Cosby Avenue, Amherst MA 01002 - 2004.

Wouldn’t it be cool if everyone reading this took time to send Zoll a card and wish her well!?

5. Final thought: We live in a fallen world, folks.

But as for me and hopefully my family, we’ll stick with Chick-fil-A.

Happy Friday, everybody! Enjoy the weekend!

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