New edition of journalism primer on Islam now covers rise of ISIS and homegrown terrorism

Islam for Journalists

Islam dominates the headlines but most Americans say they know little or nothing about the religion. A new edition of a journalism primer is designed to address that void.

“Islam for Journalists (and Everyone Else),” written by top scholars and journalists who have long experience in the field, provides basic facts about the world’s fastest-growing religion and the Americans who practice it. 

The updated edition, which incorporates the rise of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and homegrown terrorism, is now available to the general public through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Islam for Journalists is available free to journalists through the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

The original e-book has been downloaded by more than 7,000 reporters across the country.

Top academic experts on Islam and reporters with experience covering the story contributed to the book, which includes basic beliefs, the cultural differences of Muslims around the world, facts about Muslim communities in the U.S., and insights into extremists. 

Lawrence Pintak, who conceived the project, is a former CBS News Middle East correspondent and was founding dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. He is the author of several books about U.S. policy toward the Muslim world and holds a doctorate in Islamic studies. His co-editor, Stephen Franklin, is a former Middle East correspondent for the Chicago Tribune.

Other resources for reporting on Islam and other religions

  • Reporting on Islam. This guide from the Religion News Association includes key issues, important terms, coverage tips and sample stories. In addition, it has links to national sources about diverse aspects of Islam.
  • Religion Stylebook. The Religion News Association’s Religion Stylebook contains a comprehensive, searchable guide to religious terms. The stylebook is updated regularly.
  • Reporting on Religion: A Primer on Journalism’s Best Beat. This free booklet from the Religion News Association provides general advice on covering religion. It was updated significantly in 2016.

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