Jodi Rudoren

Friday Five: RNA lifetime winner, new Forward editor, funny obit, Jeffrey Epstein, Rob Moll tribute

Friday Five: RNA lifetime winner, new Forward editor, funny obit, Jeffrey Epstein, Rob Moll tribute

The Religion News Association hit the jackpot with this selection.

Cathy Lynn Grossman — “one of the giants of the modern religion beat” — will receive the William A. Reed Lifetime Achievement Award on Sept. 22 at RNA’s 70th annual conference in Las Vegas.

The announcement was made this week.

“I'm thrilled, surprised and humbled! (but obviously not too humble to post it on social media. Ha!!),” Grossman, who is best known for her 24 years with USA Today, said in a public Facebook post.

Past recipients include GetReligion’s own Richard Ostling, retired longtime religion writer for Time magazine and The Associated Press.

In other Godbeat news, Religion News Service’s Yonat Shimron reports:

Jodi Rudoren, an associate managing editor at The New York Times, was named the new editor-in-chief of the revered Jewish publication the Forward on Tuesday (July 23), marking a new beginning for an organization that has weathered tough times.

Now, let’s dive into the Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: This is not the normal kind of religion story that I share in this space, but it’s too good not to include.

Dave Condren, who spent 20 years with the Buffalo News, including 14 as a religion reporter, wrote his own obituary.

This is just the first hint that it’s definitely worth your time:

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Some empathy, please, as New York Times Jerusalem chief bids adieu

Some empathy, please, as New York Times Jerusalem chief bids adieu

About a month ago I wrote a post on the buzz developing around the changing of the guard at the Jerusalem bureau of The New York Times. I noted then that Times coverage of the seemingly intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict is about as closely watched -- and unsparingly critiqued -- as is any  produced by American journalism.

For the bureau chief, the job is a near guaranteed ulcer-producer. Still, the position is coveted by the Times' most ambitious, most skilled and toughest reporters. In the context of that super-competitive newsroom, that's saying something.

My early December post was pegged to the departure of Jodi Rudoren, who is leaving Jerusalem after four years. No replacement has been officially named as of this writing, but check out my earlier post if you're interest in the scuttlebutt about who that may be.

My return to the subject is prompted by a exit interview Rudoren gave to The Jerusalem Post, Israel's leading right-of-center and oldest English-language newspaper. Click here to read the entire exit interview published in the newspaper's weekend magazine.

It's well-worth your time as a primer on what it takes to cover a highly complex, super-important international conflict while under a microscope.

How does one prepares for such an assignment? How do you deal, just about daily, with angry, highly partisan readers who feel their side has been wronged? How do time and space constraints work against properly contextualizing daily events when one has decades of bloody conflict from which to draw?

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