May 14, 2009 – National Public Radio affiliate KBIA interviewed Debra L. Mason, director of the Center on Religion & the Professions, on May 14 for a story about Westboro Baptist Church, which planned a protest in Columbia. In the wide-ranging interview, Mason addressed questions about whether the media should cover the group – known for its position against homosexuality and protesting at soldiers’ funerals – how they are related to other Baptists and whether they could be classified as a cult.
In addition to directing the Center, Mason is executive director of the Religion Newswriters Association and is a professor of journalism studies at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She is a nationally recognized, award-winning and widely published specialist in religion journalism and has more than 25 years of professional reporting, research and teaching experience.
The Center on Religion & the Professions (CORP) aims to improve religious literacy among professionals, to help them serve a diverse public. It performs research and creates curriculum, resources and public programming to accomplish that goal. For more information about the Center, call (573) 882-9257.