2018 Convention: April 5-7 in Atlanta, Georgia — Realizing the Dream: Peace and Justice Through Communication

DeRose-Hinkhouse Award entries open

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DeRose-Hinkhouse Award entry deadline extended

DeRose-Hinkhouse Best of Class statueDue to difficult weather conditions this week, the deadline for DeRose-Hinkhouse Award entries is extended to Wednesday, January 24.

Entries must arrive in Award Coordinator Ryan Koch's New York office by 3:00 p.m. on Jan. 24.

Entry forms and categories are on the DeRose-Hinkhouse Awards page.

Award Reminder: 10 Days to Go!

DEADLINE Approaches!

DeRose-Hinkhouse Best of Class statueThe Religion Communicators Council (RCC) reminds members that the annual DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards will be held on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Entries are currently being accepted for the 2018 DeRose-Hinkhouse Awards, the deadline is Friday, January 19, 2018.

The DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards are presented annually to active RCC members who demonstrate excellence in religion communications and public relations.

If you are an RCC member and played a major role in producing the communication material completed in 2017, you are encouraged to enter the DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards. Each entry is judged on overall quality, including aspects such as concept, writing, design, creativity, communication value and effectiveness in achieving its purpose.


Entry deadline nears for 2018 Wilbur Awards

Wilbur Award trophyReligion Communicators Council to accept submissions until Feb. 5.

Entries for the 2018 Wilbur Awards are arriving at the Religion Communicators Council office in New York City as the February 5 deadline approaches. Secular communicators are encouraged to submit their best work produced in 2017 for consideration in one of the oldest award programs in religion communication.

Work may be entered in MANY categories including: Web-based communication, books, feature films, photography, newspapers, magazines, radio and television. Juries of media professionals coordinated by RCC members across the country evaluate submissions on content, creativity, impact and excellence in communicating religious values.

The 2018 awards are to be presented April 7 in Atlanta, GA, during the council's national convention. Winners receive a handcrafted stained-glass trophy and national recognition for their work.


Texas still home for visiting prof at NYU

Simran Jeet SinghSimran Jeet Singh, an RCC member and a Sikh assistant religion professor at Trinity University, penned a viral tweet Tuesday describing his mom’s reaction to the racism he receives online.

“My mom just joined Twitter and saw all the racist messages where people tell me to ‘go home’ and ‘go back to where I came from,’ ” he tweeted. “She wanted me to thank you all. She really wants me to move back to Texas.”

Singh, who has amassed a following of more than 40,000, received more than 25,000 retweets, 145,000 favorites and more than 1,000 responses — including one from San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

Read more in the San Antonio Express eEdition

2018 convention engages how faith communities use public relations

Atlanta — One of the plenary panels during the 2018 Religion Communicators Council (RCC) National Convention will demonstrate how faith groups have used advertising and public relations to reach key populations since the 19th century. The meeting runs April 5-7.

Realizing the Dream: Peace and Justice Through Communication is the theme of the three-day event at the Sheraton Atlanta. One highlight on the meeting schedule is a visit to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Meeting participants can choose from workshops covering multi-religious activism, enhancing your story with digital media, copyright laws, media monitoring, branding and design, crisis communication, and planning for the “We Are Sikhs” national public service announcement campaign. The 15 workshops are organized into three five-session tracks:


‘Engaging the wider community’ on religious topics

By Linda Bloom

David Gibson at New York Chapter meeting (photo by Ryan Koch)

David Gibson, the well-known Religion News Service reporter, recently spoke with members of the Religion Communicators Council’s New York Chapter about his new position as director of the Fordham University Center on Religion and Culture.

He was part of the chapter’s Nov. 21 lunch meeting in the offices of United Methodist Women at the Interchurch Center, 475 Riverside Dr.

According to its website, the center, based at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus, “explores the complex relationship between religion and contemporary life in a manner that advances beyond the caricatures and misapprehensions that often form public perceptions and color media coverage about faith issues.”


Conference to explore the future of faith and storytelling

 LOS ANGELES — What does the future of faith look like? How will stories be told about it? And by whom?

A host of partners working at the intersection of journalism, religion, communication and culture will present the one-day event “Reimagining Religion 2018: New Stories, New Communities” on Jan. 26 at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in Los Angeles.

Read more on the RNS site...

Read more on the RCC site...

Webinar: Punctuated: Re-thinking Communications in our Interrelated World

On Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 1 PM ET, Robert Chase will lead a webinar with RCC members drawing insights from his storied career in faith-based communications. See the Robert J. Chase website and his new book Beyond the Comma for more information.

Using the simple mark of punctuation separating all that comes before from all that follows, Chase explores how we navigate the changes after “comma moments” in our life journeys. Some of these pauses are intricately planned and self-created like a sabbatical or the birth of a child; others are imposed by external forces – sometimes violently or without warning – like an act of terror or a devastating illness.

Beyond the Comma challenges the reader to be attentive to these moments and the multi-layered intersections that follow. Some intersections are deeply personal; others are corporate, even global. According to the book’s premise, by navigating the interrelationship of these forces, we become more whole.


Tips when covering Islam and Muslims

Wajahat AliTop 30 do's and don'ts when covering Islam and Muslims — Tips from Wajahat Ali, co-host of Al Jazeera America’s The Stream to the 2015 RCC National Convention.

The first three are:

  • Do diversify your portfolio of token Muslims. Different Muslim super heroes have different superpowers.
  • Do not assume Arabs = Muslims and Muslims = Arab. Do not use them interchangeably.
  • Do seek out Muslims who are black and/or white and or other colors. They exist, not all are brown.


51 things I’ve learned after 50 years in the editor’s chair

By Rich Peck

Photo of Rich Peck and cover of Speaking Faith

Rick Peck is editor of the 7th edition of RCC handbook, Speaking Faith: the Essential Handbook for Religion Communicators.

Photo of Rich Peck: A UMNS photo by Kathleen Barry.

  • Avoid unnecessary alphabet gumbo.
  • The use of a dateline saves space and adds clarity. Some editors say the use of a dateline misleads readers to believe the author was in that city. Readers are smart enough to know by the context whether the author was actually in the city or only writing about an event in that city. There is no need to repeat the name of the city in the article.
  • Adding adjectives frequently clutters sentences and they are often subjective; use sparingly.
  • Use precise descriptions: Avoid: “The young child.” Instead: “The five-year-old boy.”
  • Avoid using the same words in a single paragraph but don’t search the Thesaurus for a seldom used word.



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