Logos of the sponsors of the IARJ Latin American conference: IARJ, BYU Law, BYU School of Communications

PROVO, Utah–The public is invited to join journalists from throughout Latin America to hear speakers and panel discussions at the First Latin American Forum on Journalism and Religion on Thursday, March 23, at BYU’s Gordon B. Hinckley Center Assembly Hall.

Thursday’s public sessions are part of the two-day forum sponsored by the BYU School of Communications, BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies and International Association of Religion Journalists. Simultaneous Spanish and English interpretation will be available to BYU students, faculty, and the public during Thursday sessions.

The forum will bring together about 20 journalists, along with Latin American journalists based in the U.S., as well as communications professionals and human rights experts. The forum’s organizers view this as the first of an annual or biannual event designed to strengthen professional associations, share experiences and know-how, and raise awareness about the unique field of reporting about religion.

Featured speakers include Asdrúbal Aguiar, member of Inter-American Press Association board of directors; Nazila Ghanea, the United Nations special rapporteur for Freedom of Religion and Belief; Peggy Fletcher Stack, Salt Lake Tribune religion reporter and recipient of 2023 Religion News Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award; and W. Cole Durham, Jr., founding director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies and noted international expert on human rights law.

The heart of the forum will be several discussion panels exploring challenges of religion reporting; the intersection between press freedoms and religious freedom; journalism’s role in raising religious literacy; and avoiding pitfalls when reporting about religion in a political context.

The Thursday public sessions of the conference include the following:9-9:30 a.m.—Welcome and vision for the forum9:30-11 a.m.—Panel discussion: The Central Role of Freedom of the Press, Expression, and Conscience 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.—Panel discussion: Unique Challenges to Religion Reporting 2:30-3:45 p.m.—Panel discussion: Religion Journalism in a Political Context

The program for the conference is available at https://www.iclrs.org/el-primer-foro-latinoamericano-de-periodismo-y-religion/. Recordings of the sessions will be available a few days after the conference at the same link.

For more information or news media information contact Joel Campbell, BYU School of Communications, 801-362-4298, joel_campbell@byu.edu or Blythe Shupe, BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies, 801-691-8198, shupeb@law.byu.edu