Global Religion Editor Sally Stapleton today sent this memo to staff announcing four additions to AP’s new religion team:
In late April, AP announced the launch of a global religion team, along with Religion News Service and The Conversation, with a $4.9 million grant from the Lilly Endowment. We’re happy to let you know about some of the journalists joining us in New York and Cairo. Three colleagues will begin in September in the roles of news editor, national reporter for religion and politics, and Islam reporter. Some of you may know our new colleagues but many of you will be familiar with the talented work done by former WSJ investigative reporter Gary Fields, AP national political reporter Elana Schor and former WSJ and Bloomberg reporter Mariam Fam, who is returning to the AP and Cairo. They join former Boston Globe Spotlight reporter Michael Rezendes, who started this spring in Boston and will relocate to New York this month as an investigative correspondent focusing on religion.
Gary Fields, news editor. (Courtesy Gary Fields)
Gary Fields, news editor
Gary is a veteran journalist with more than three decades of experience ranging from sports reporting to investigative projects. He’s a former board member for the Fund for Investigative Journalism. In 2000, he joined the Wall Street Journal’s Washington bureau to cover the Justice Department where he was involved in coverage of 9/11 and its aftermath. He has extensive experience reporting on criminal justice, mental health and tribal issues. Most recently, Gary was the senior manager of content for Lutheran World Relief/IMA World Health. Gary will join us Sept. 9 in New York.
Mariam Fam, Islam reporter. (Courtesy Mariam Fam)
Mariam Fam, Islam reporter
Mariam has reported on the Middle East and North Africa for more than a decade for the AP, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News. She has chronicled the effects of the sweeping changes sparked by the Iraq war and, later, by the Arab Spring in Egypt. Also, she’s written about religious communities and examined the many ways faith intersects with politics, culture, gender issues and conflict. She holds a master’s degree with honors in journalism from Columbia University. Mariam’s first day will be Sept. 23 and her assignment is in Cairo.
Elana Schor, national reporter, religion and politics. (AP Photo)
Elana Schor, national reporter, religion and politicsElana joined AP’s national politics team last year to cover the Democratic presidential primary and has produced standout coverage on the field of candidates’ records on issues ranging from faith to impeachment and health care. She is a former Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. Before coming to AP, she spent four years at Politico covering Senate politics and energy. Elana has held reporting jobs in Washington for more than a decade, which have included stints at The Guardian and The Hill. She will join us Sept. 16 in New York.
Michael Rezendes, investigative correspondent. (AP Photo)
Michael Rezendes, investigative correspondent
Mike was the first member chosen for the global religion team in his investigative reporter role. The veteran Boston Globe Spotlight Team reporter is best known for the hundreds of stories resulting from reporting on Catholic Church sex abuse and the network of secrecy within the Boston diocese which were first published in 2002. He was part of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for that work. Mike’s latest story, “In Mississippi Delta, Catholic abuse cases settled on cheap” found a group of Wisconsin-based Franciscans paid two cousins an extremely low payoff to obtain their silence and prevent them from filing lawsuits.
Walter Denton, one of over 200 former altar boys suing Guam's Catholic archdiocese over decades of sexual abuse, prays as the sun rises in his backyard in Agat, Guam, May 11, 2019. (AP Photo/David Goldman)