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Christian

Julia Duin and Religion Writers in Today's Marketplace

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The Washington Times has fired Julia Duin. I'm rushing to post this and don't have time to write anything lengthy, but this Duin quote leapt out at me:

The imminent end of my 14-year stint at TWT would be bearable were there a decent job waiting for me out there, but they're not lining up to hire religion writers these days. Plus I'm a single mom with no convenient husband as back-up.

I haven't checked coverage at Get Religion, but I was moved by her plight and wondered where, exactly, she might go. The single-motherhood is something she chose and not a debate I want to get into here, although it can't be entirely separated from Duin's predicament, of course. I'm more interested in what religion writers see as their future. Is there one? Is it online only? Does it pay? Will they all become unpaid bloggers? I hope not.

Gotta run. Chime in with any thoughts.

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How terrible. I had just finished reading her "Days of Fire and Glory", about some of the triumphs and abuses of the charismatic renewal in the Episcopal church and covenant communities, and have recommended it to my friends. It's a very tricky subject matter, but she handled it with care and verve.

I will pray that she finds the next great job.

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Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Christian.

I have been thinking lately that print religion journalism as a profession may become even more obsolete than the print cultural criticism. The lines between the traditional religion beat and the traditional politics or culture beat seem to have become so blurred that one of the three will eventually just disappear.

In terms of the politics, so embroiled in the differences between Islam and the west, it is seemingly impossible to separate religion from most global news bites (even more recently, coverage of the Tea Party is a good example of how popular religion and politics become so conflated, and then package as "political coverage"). In terms of culture, it seems that the conversation about religion in America and abroad has shifted more into cinema and literature. So the religion beat qua religion has become irrelevant even though there are some great writers (such as Duin) that still carry the torch.

I hope she can find sustained work online.

Edited by M. Leary

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