New book showcases work of religion news writers

By on April 1, 2005

The editor of a newly-released book says its existence will help “validate” the role of religion news writers as journalists.

“We are not just propaganda writers,” says Debra A. Wagner, editor of Changing Boundaries, The Best Religion News Writing.

“We are holding to standards of truth and accuracy in our reporting,” she said. “We’re presenting (the news) with journalism standards.”

Changing Boundaries, published by Seabury Books, an imprint of New York-based Church Publishing Inc., was released in early February. A compilation of the top religion newswriting in 2003 as chosen by the Associated Church Press, the book includes the work of reporters from the Presbyterian News Service, United Methodist Reporter, U.S. Catholic, and Episcopal News Service, among others.

(Anglican Journal is also a member of the Associated Church Press.)

The book includes a foreword by Gustav Niebuhr, the former national religion reporter for the New York Times.

When Mr. Niebuhr accepted the task of writing the foreword, Ms. Wagner said, “it meant that he looked at us as journalists.”

Anglican Book Centre, a retail store which is housed at the Anglican church’s national office in Toronto, is the Canadian distributor of Church Publishing.

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