Religion news, the First Amendment and BBQ: GetReligion will soon have a new home base – GetReligion

Posted: December 11, 2019 at 8:49 pm

All together now, everybody sing: Turn, Turn, Turn.

GetReligion.org has been around since Feb. 1, 2004, and in internet years that is a long, long time. Some of us certainly me have gained more than a few gray hairs in the process.

For several years now, I have known that I would retire from full-time work here at GetReligion when the clock struck midnight and we reached Jan. 1, 2020. The question logically enough was whether this weblog would shut down or evolve back into something that I could do part-time, which was how things started out long ago.

The good news is that, well, we aint dead yet. The bad news is that we will have to do some major downsizing, which means well have to make changes in the amount of content that we offer here. After nearly a decade, Bobby Ross Jr. has already put out the word that he is leaving GetReligion and will now be writing a weekly religion-news roundup for Religion Unplugged that will also run elsewhere (including here, we hope).

Readers will not be surprised to know that a sign of the times in which we live the work we will be doing here in the future will require some fundraising. Visitors to the website will see more information about that sooner, rather than later.

But the big news today is that GetReligion will soon have a new home base, one linked directly to First Amendment studies, which means work tied to freedom of the press and freedom of religion.

As of Jan. 1, we will be based at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics, which is next door to the School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi. The chairman of the center is Charles L. Overby, for 22 years the CEO of the Freedom Forum, a non-partisan foundation focusing on the press, religious freedom and the First Amendment.

As a part of this move, I will be serving as a senior fellow at the Overby Center (press release here), cooperating with Overby and his team on public events linked to religion, news, politics and, yes, the First Amendment. I spoke at the center in 2012 and look forward to whats ahead. Videos of some of these GetReligion-related events will, I am sure, end up online. (Click here for a recent Overby Center event with David E. McGraw, a top lawyer for The New York Times.)

Let me add one or two personal notes. I have known Overby for a quarter of a century because of our mutual interest in how the mainstream press covers religion. He was a great help to me during my years at the Washington Journalism Center, when my students visited the Newseum during our discussions of journalism history. Over the years, Overby has frequently been a source of encouragement in my work as a syndicated columnist. Also, it helps to know that the dean of the Ole Miss journalism school is veteran newsman and educator Will Norton Jr., with whom I worked on journalism education projects during my tenure with the Council For Christian Colleges and Universities.

What else is ahead?

Lets say journalism, the First Amendment, good friends and barbecue. I can work with that. And I promise not to wear East Tennessee orange when visiting The Grove.

Stay tuned for further developments.

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Religion news, the First Amendment and BBQ: GetReligion will soon have a new home base - GetReligion

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