Religious News Service accepts funds to provide more atheist articles
As RNS admits taking money, is there any conflict of interest? Ethical questions? Should an "impartial" news agency provide additional coverage in exchange for much-needed cash?
While there’s no direct evidence that RNS violated these standards, taking money from a special interest group in the faith sphere causes one to wonder how rigorously — or honestly — the subject of atheism was explored. Furthermore, RNS is a
In an interview with TheBlaze, Stiefel discussed his foundation‘s gifts to RNS and said that there’s nothing that his group is doing that differs from what other religious groups currently engage in. While this may be the case, RNS has not yet received funding from any other special interest foundation or religious entity. Currently, the SFF is the only organization providing monies to the news group.
Stiefel reiterated that the purpose of the
“I have absolutely zero control over what they write, what they choose to write about, what goes in [the articles] — nothing,” he told TheBlaze. “Even some of the stories that have been written, I certainly– there have been some stories that weren’t positive about the freethought movement and certain aspects of it.” He also made note of two articles that RNS wrote about the atheist movement that were negative in nature. TheBlaze located one of these articles from July 2012 entitled, “Do Atheists Have a Sexual Harassment Problem?”