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'Religion has never been more important' says new Lapido Media chief

National journalist Jemima Thackray is to be the new chief executive of Lapido Media ...

National journalist Jemima Thackray is to be the new chief executive of Lapido Media.

The journalist, who has written for The Telegraph, Church Times and Elle magazine, will succeed founder Dr Jenny Taylor in the autumn.

Dr Taylor will remain with the charity in a full-time writing and speaking role. Ms Thackray, the current special features editor at the Church Times, will start her new role in the autumn.

“I am delighted to be joining Lapido Media in a role which gives me the perfect opportunity to combine my experience working in journalism and the charitable sector,” she said. “The world is getting more religious, not less, and understanding religion has never been more important – especially for the media which holds such power in shaping public debate.

“I look forward to working with journalists as they follow their highest calling, the pursuit of truth, finding new ways accurately to report the many different faith perspectives of our age.”

Dr Taylor, who started Lapido Media in 2004, and registered it as a charity in 2007, now becomes founder and senior executive. 

She said: “Jemima is a rising star. She will be able to champion the issues we pioneered and that are so key to Britain right now, in an engaging and winsome way, both as a highly-regarded mainstream journalist, and as a niche specialist.  

“I could not be more delighted to hand on the baton to the next generation, knowing we have someone so passionate and savvy about religious literacy.”  

The new appointment will allow Dr Taylor to continue with her public speaking and networking brief. She has just signed a contract on behalf of Lapido with publishing house Lion to write An Inconvenient Story about why she set up the charity. She will also continue to travel, researching religious literacy and encouraging similar ventures in parts of the world where the religious dimension of stories is distorted.

Lapido Media chairman, Nick Isbister, added: “Jemima brings a wealth of experience as a journalist to the role.  

“She epitomises what we stand for – she is smart, thoughtful and engaging. She has a deep empathy for people and understands the power of belief to do good and the potential it has for harm.

“Above all Jemima has all the instincts all great journalists have. She is passionate for the truth and knows a good story when she encounters one. She  will be an indefatigable champion of religious literacy throughout the media.  

“Jemima joins us to build upon the pioneering work of Dr Taylor, our founder. We are particularly pleased that Jenny will be continuing with us and that the two of them will be working in close partnership.”

Lapido Media is the Centre for Religious Literacy in Journalism, an independent group of international journalists engaged in writing, teaching and networking. Recent initiatives have included distributing Lapido Media’s latest book in their handy guides for journalists series, The Caliphate, to newsrooms across Britain, and piloting material in lectures on religion at the Press Association and Reuters.

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