Kelsey Dallas on Religious Journalism
Date: February 12th, 2017

In a world where the non-affiliated are on the rise, religious journalism is still alive, well, and adapting to a changing media environment.  To discuss the world of “faith-driven stories,” we are joined by Kelsey Dallas, a regular journalist for the Deseret News who has written over 600 news articles of varying length and depth about the world of faithful.  We begin the discussion with how a kid from a small town in Illinois makes it to the University of Iowa, on to graduate school at Yale University, and then lands a job as a religion beat reporter in Utah.  Ms. Dallas shares her religious upbringing and intellectual experience at Yale, including taking a class from the famed-journalist Bob Woodward, and how she was able to bring together her three great passions — writing, reading, and religion.  She also explains her membership in the Religion News Association and how important that organization has been in helping to link journalists and columnists who focus on religious news.  This draws us into a discussion about where the topic of religion is in today’s mainstream media.  Kelsey then explains the difference between news stories about religion and faith-driven stories, the latter which are based less on changes in major institutions (e.g., a new appointment of a Catholic bishop) and more about personal stories about how people live their daily lives.  Throughout the podcast, Kelsey shares a number of her favorite, most interesting, and oddest stories.  The latter includes a piece on how religions would react to the discovery of life on other planets (see link below).  We talk about the prominence that stories on religious liberty have taken over the past few years with events such as the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case and Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act controversy.  Ms. Dallas also shares her insights on being a journalist attending the services of different faith traditions, including one where she visited an Islamic mosque and was moved to the women’s section during the formal prayers.  Our conversation also covers football, both prayer circles after NFL games and the fantasy version.  Kelsey finishes off with some personal reflections on what she has learned over the span of the past few years and reaffirms for Tony the importance of ice cream.  Recorded: February 10, 2017.



Kelsey Dallas’s news feed at Deseret News.

Kelsey Dallas on Twitter.

Religion News Association.

How Would Religions React to the Discovery of Life on Other Planets?” by Kelsey Dallas (Deseret News

Taking a Knee: Professional Football and Its Mysterious Postgame Prayer,” by Kelsey Dallas (Deseret News).

How Religious Pilgrimages Feed Mental, Physical, and Spiritual Health” by Kelsey Dallas (Deseret News).


Jeremy Lott on Real Clear Religion.

Jeremy Lott on Episcopalians, Ex-Atheists, Health Care, and German Circumcision.

Jeremy Lott on America’s Shifting Religious Election Coalition.

Jeremy Lott on the Media’s Pope-O-Rama.

Jeremy Lott on Mormons, Pope Francis, and Ugly Churches.

Jeremy Lott on Religious Newsmakers of 2013.

Karen Elliott House on Journalism and Saudi Arabia.

David Brody on the 2010 Midterm Elections and Religious Journalism.

Michael Cromartie on Religion, the Media, and Think Tanks.

Luis Bolce on the Media and Anti-Fundamentalism.

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