The International Association of Religion Journalists is joining forces with Australia’s Griffith University’s Multi-Faith Center and ABC Radio National to sponsor a ground-breaking two-day symposium on religion journalism.

The October 30-31 meeting on the Brisbane campus will bring together local and international journalists to explore in-depth topics such as: the role of bias and objectivity in religion journalism; balancing minority and majority group issues; the secularization of religious conflicts, and personal and professional challenges to reporting the faith.

Speakers will include three IARJ founding members — Endy Bayuni, chief editor of Jakarta Post in Indonesia who specializes in religious issues, Peggy Fletcher Stack, a senior religion writer at the Salt Lake Tribune in Salt Lake City, Utah for 22 years, and Rachael Kohn, host of ABC Radio National’s The Spirit of Things.

Broadcast journalism and Digital journalism will also feature at the conference, with Andrew West of ABC Radio National’s The Religion and Ethics Report and Sarah Pulliam Bailey, national correspondent for the U.S.-based Religion News Service.

A Public Forum at the ABC Studios in Southbank on Religion as a Weapon of War and Peace will feature some of the Symposium’s top speakers including Paul Marshall of the Hudson Institute in Washington DC and author of Blind Sport: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion.

The Symposium’s organizers, like IARJ members, believe that today’s journalism needs expert religious analysis if we are to increase understanding in a divided world.