Are you looking to expand your knowledge on covering religion and global politics? Then join a select group of journalists from across the world as they share their insights, resources and strategies for reporting on religion and politics via a six-week online seminar.

Facilitated by the Centro internazionale per i giornalisti, the course will run from January 7 through February 15 and will examine more effective ways of reporting on sensitive topics such as religion and politics around the world.

The course will also bring together the most up-to-date research and reporting, with a select group of international journalists committed to working together in dialogue to provide fair and accurate coverage of the people, beliefs, policies and practices shaping the political life of nations throughout the world.

As well as exploring the coverage of religion and politics around the world and sharing a wide range of professional approaches, participants will also look at up-to-the-minute case studies of issues relating to religion and politics from the Middle East to West Africa to Europe to the United States. And the seminar will be flexible and responsive, dealing with the latest news relating to religion

In addition, participants will receive objective tools for covering religion and politics, as well as access to sources and the latest international research.

The seminar, which will be offered in English and Arabic, is designed to be a lasting resource for journalists leading the field in excellence in religion writing and reporting.

The course will be run by:

Stephen Franklin (Lead instructor) is a former reporter and foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and has reported from Afghanistan to Peru. He has also trained journalists in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. He was a fellow with the International Center for Journalists in Egypt, and designed courses for the ICFJ dealing with labor and economics in the Arab world and with immigration in the US and Latin America. He is the editor and project manager for Islam on Main Street, an effort to explain Islam to US journalists. The effort has produced two websites and a book is due out in Spring 2013. He currently trains and organizes black, Latino and immigrant journalists in Chicago. An award-winning journalist, he also worked in newspapers in Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Miami. He has a master’s degree in political science from American University in Washington, D.C., and has taught at the University of Illinois, DePaul University, Columbia College (Chicago) and American University in Cairo. He was a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Turkey.

Elisa Di Benedetto (co-instructor) is a journalist based in the North-East of Italy. She has worked in the field of journalism and communication for ten years. She started her career working for an Italian daily newspaper and for the past five years she has covered a variety of topics from cross-cultural and cross-religion issues to immigration to Italy, from civil-military cooperation to gender issues. Her areas of focus include the role of media in peacekeeping process and conflict resolution. As an independent and embedded free-lance journalist, she reported on Afghanistan, Lebanon and Kosovo. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna in Italy and a master’s degree in Peacekeeping and Security Studies from RomaTre University of Rome. She is a founding member of the IARJ and in 2010 she received the international award Giornalisti Del Mediterraneo – Journalists of the Mediterranean-Italian Peace Operations Section.


The deadline for applications for the free online course is 11:59 pm on December 16.

To apply, please follow these steps:

For more information, please contact Lisa Ellis at lellis@icfj.org or Babar Taimoor atbtaimoor@icfj.org. To read more on ICFJ’s online courses, please visit: www.icfj.org/elearn.