Ken Chitwood

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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5Q+1 interview: Ken Chitwood on teaching ‘Religion and the News’ at University of Florida

5Q+1 interview: Ken Chitwood on teaching ‘Religion and the News’ at University of Florida

Godbeat 101.

That’s not the name of the course Ken Chitwood will teach at the University of Florida next semester. But it’s close.

Chitwood is a religion scholar and Ph.D. student, studying Religion in the Americas and Global Islam (with the Center for Global Islamic Studies).

His writings — both academic and popular — cover topics such as religion in the U.S., Islam in the Americas, glocalization, transnationalism and Christian-Muslim relations (and many more).

“I am also fascinated by the intersection of religion and popular culture and write and speak on this topic as both an academic and a journalist covering 'the Godbeat,’” said Chitwood, who characterizes himself on his personal website as a “forward-thinking Lutheran theologian.”

In a 5Q+1 interview with GetReligion, he discussed his plans for the “Religion and the News” course that he’s developing.

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