Poynter's News U is an online project of the Poynter institute that offers newsroom training for journalists and journalism students. As part of my journalism classes over the past two years with Herbert Lowe, I have had to take many online classes and webinars, and usually find them informative and helpful. This most recent one covering Religion in Politics I found to be dull and annoying.

It should be noted that my aggravation was not at the content of the presentation, but rather its setup. The video in the corner did not buffer well, and therefor lagged the entire time making it very difficult to follow along. Now that we have that in the open I can actually respond to what I experienced in the presentation.

The webinar, officially titled "Reporting on Religion and Political Candidates," was presented by Howard Finberg, the founder of News U, and Kelly McBride, a former religion reporter who holds a masters in religious studies from Gonzaga University.

At first I found the information to be a bit obvious. There wasn't exactly any shock or surprise when McBride listed context, accuracy, authenticity, nuance and fact checking as "journalism values that help." As these are core values in all facets of journalism, i was not provided any new information when I was told they helped here.

It wasn't until later when McBride began talking about how reporters cover religion that I felt like I was really learning. McBride discussed how the stigma surrounding discussing other people's religion often affects good reporting. She brought up coverage of Newt Gingrich's conversion to Catholicism, and how different questions may have furthered the public debate a bit more.

Overall the webinar was a potentially good project, that was felled b
 





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