Religion News Service
Religion News Service (RNS) is a news agency covering religion, ethics, spirituality and moral issues. Based at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., RNS has a network of correspondents around the world, providing news and information on all faiths and religious movements to the nation's leading newspapers, news magazines, broadcast organizations and religious publications. RNS wire reports are distributed to more than 170 media outlets that include The Washington Post, Huffington Post, National Public Radio, and Chicago Tribune as well as religious outlets such as America, Sojourners, Christian Century, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, and Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. The total circulation of these outlets exceeds 100 million readers.
Religion News Service was founded in 1934 by journalist Louis Minsky as an independent, non-profit affiliate of National Conference of Christians and Jews. It is a secular news agency that does not endorse or promote any particular religion, creed beliefs, or non-beliefs. The United Methodist Reporter bought RNS in 1983, and in 1994, Newhouse News Service, a major publisher of daily newspapers and magazines, purchased it and changed its name to Religion News Service.
In 2011, RNS was sold to the Religion Newswriters Foundation, a non-profit affiliate of the Religion Newswriters Association. Its editorial office is in Washington, D.C. RNS is owned by Religion News LLC, a non-profit, limited liability corporation based at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. RNS is governed by a Board of Managers, and also has an Advisory Board composed largely of journalists and academics. RNS is currently syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate.
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In April 2015, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) published an article disclosing that RNS had received a grant of $120,000 from the Arcus Foundation, an LGBT–rights advocacy organization, with the stated intent “to recruit and equip LGBT supportive leaders and advocates to counter rejection and antagonism within traditionally conservative Christian churches.” The CNA story questioned whether the grant had biased RNS's coverage of traditional religion, specifically citing an RNS article on Cardinal Raymond Burke. In response to the CNA report, RNS's then editor-in-chief Kevin Eckstrom denied that the Arcus grant had any influence over editorial decisions at RNS and noted that the grant language is “Arcus’ description of their funding, not ours.” The actual grant proposal to the Arcus Foundation had stressed only the need to “increase and improve domestic and international coverage of how religion affects a diverse range of LGBT communities.”
- "Religion News Service - History". Religion News Service. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- "Religion News Service Enters Nonprofit Partnership with Religion Newswriters Foundation". RNS press release, 19 May 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- "Religion News Service - About". Religion News Service. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- Jones, Kevin (1 April 2015). "An Arcus news service? RNS denies LGBT money influences religion coverage". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- O'Loughlin, Michael (8 April 2015). "Religion News Service defends grant from gay-rights group". Crux. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
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