March to June 2020 has been a time of great progress at Religion News Foundation (RNF) and its subsidiary, Religion News Service (RNS). I began my new position as RNF CEO and RNS Publisher on Monday, April 6, 2020. Judith Golub also stepped into the role of RNF Director of Strategy and Planning at that time.
In this last quarter, we have worked hard on editorial and business strategy development, assisted by our media strategy consultant Oliver Knowlton. We also have been hard at work on our website, improving our SEO and growing our traffic enormously. A story by Jack Jenkins on police expelling a priest from a church ahead of a photo op by President Trump set our all-time record for pageviews; it currently has over 840,000 pageviews on the site.
We are very proud of the excellent journalism that RNS is producing. This is a time of unprecedented challenge – both in the U.S. and around the globe. During this quarter, the ‘first wave’ of the coronavirus pandemic, which triggered a severe economic downturn, has sweep across the world. Also during this quarter, protests across America and the world are taking place following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a policeman. These protests have sparked a vigorous debate about the inequalities African Americans are confronted with in policing and many other aspects of society. Every step of the way, RNS’s reporters have been there, covering front line essential workers and protesters, raising important issues and covering the religion news angle in ways very few others would or could. I am proud of their hard work in capturing this enormously important moment.
We are deeply grateful for the support of our funders, collaborators, and partners. We cannot do our work without the support of organizations like the Lilly Endowment, Inc., the Fetzer Institute, and Solutions Journalism Network.
As well, we thank you, as always, for your support. This work is important, and we cannot do it without your help.
CEO, Religion News Foundation
Publisher, Religion News Service