New York Times religion reporter looks for newsworthy items


Paul Vitello

Paul Vitello

New York Times religion reporter Paul Vitello said Sept. 22 that he tends to write about whatever is newsworthy rather than trying to cover New York’s spectrum of faith groups.


Vitello, who has covered religion for the Times since 2008, spoke to RCC’s New York City Chapter.


One of two religion reporters at the Times, Vitello works for the metropolitan desk and writes about faith news from a local perspective. The other reporter, Laurie Goodstein, covers religion with a national focus.


Vitello has done many stories about New York’s Jewish community and the Roman Catholic Church. He said he welcomes receiving story suggestions by e-mail.


Vitello said the Times picked him for the religion beat not because he had any special background but because he was a veteran reporter. He joined the Times metro staff in May 2005 to cover Long Island. Before that he had spent 24 years at Long Island’s Newsday. He also worked as a reporter for the Kansas City Star, Knickerbocker News (Albany, N.Y.) and City News Bureau of Chicago. He began his first newspaper job in 1975.


Vitello said he was baptized but doesn’t practice any particular faith. His wife is Jewish.


Vitello grew up in Manhattan on the Lower East Side and graduated from the High School of Music and Art (now LaGuardia). He earned his BA degree at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.

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