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Top-Flight Journos Land USC Annenberg Religion Reporting Grants

The list of reporters awarded USC Annenberg 2011 Knight Grants for Reporting on Religion and American Public Life is extremely impressive. And the topics aren’t too shabby either.

G. Jeffrey MacDonald, a senior correspondent for the now online-only Christian Science Monitor, will look at the soon-to-be-cut federal program Mentoring Children of Prisoners. More than 100,000 children with incarcerated parents rely on mentors provided through this initiative connected to faith-based groups. Funding is set to be cut next month.

Several NPR reporters are also in this year’s Annenberg spiritual mix. Christopher Johnson, will investigate the ancient Nigerian religion of Ifa, which has three million American followers, while Matt Ozug will create a special website project that examines how U.S. immigrants use religion in their lives.

But perhaps the most intriguing granted project logline belongs to fellow NPR contributor Monique Parsons. Her project will “look at the new generation of American-born, highly educated, Daily Show-watching, social media-savvy mosque-builders in the U.S.” Does Jon Stewart know about this yet?

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