This May, RNS has a goal to raise $10,000 to strengthen our budget and carry on our work. We invite you to discover all the ways your tax-deductible gifts can make a difference in how we cover faith and values news.

Ready to donate? Fill out our donor form here.

Debra Mason’s vision for change

If you’ve noticed the transformation of RNS over the past three years, there’s one person you can thank: Debra L. Mason.

Debra Mason

Mason

A professor of journalism at the University of Missouri, Debra had a vision for RNS and fought with all her might to refashion an old-fashioned wire service into a modern media company. This was no small feat, especially amid the turbulent journalistic tides of the past few years. It meant transitioning RNS to nonprofit status, hiring talented reporters and editors, launching a new website, staying on top of multiple new media innovations and providing moral and intellectual support to the staff.

Next month, Debra will step down from her role as publisher so she can devote her time to teaching and family. By July, RNS hopes to have a new publisher.

If you’ve appreciated the ways in which RNS has become smarter, more nimble news organization, please consider a donation of $50 or more to support the work we do. We have until midnight to reach our fundraising goal of $10,000. Please. Help us make Debra proud.

RNS is a nonprofit charity, so any donation you make is tax-deductible.

If you’ve already given, thank you for your support.
Kevin Eckstrom, Editor-in-Chief, and the RNS staff


RNS celebrates 80 years of faith and values coverage

We’re almost at the end of our spring fundraiser. But we must reach our goal of $10,000 by the end of Friday. Please consider a contribution.

RNS-MINSKY-PROFILE aDid you know? This year marks Religion News Service’s 80th birthday. RNS started in 1934 with the vision of a British immigrant named Louis Minsky. As the story goes, Louis’ father wanted his son to follow in his footsteps as a carpenter; Louis wanted to be a writer.

At age 13, Louis saved up enough money to buy a typewriter. After his infuriated father hurled it from a second-story window, Louis threatened to run away. Sure enough, not long after, he showed up in New York with his two younger sisters in tow.

Louis started RNS with a twofold goal: to distribute religion news in the secular media, and to combat what he saw as an anti-Semitic bias. He met his wife at RNS in the late 1930s, and died in 1957 at the age of 48.  His salary was a mere $12,000 a year.

We can only imagine what Louis would think of what RNS has become. Today we’re asking you to help us keep his vision going strong.

We need to raise $10,000 between now and Friday. We’re halfway there, but we need another $5,000 to go. (Check out the freebies for those who donate.)

If you value the ways RNS creates a forum for serious and respectful discussion about belief and doubt, please consider a donation of $50 or more to support the work we do. RNS is a nonprofit charity, so any donation you make is tax-deductible.

If you’ve already given, a hearty thank you.
Kevin Eckstrom, Editor-in-Chief, and the RNS staff


RNS Editor Kevin Eckstrom: tell truths, knock down falsehoods

Editor-in-Chief Kevin Eckstrom has a small sign in his office that his mother found when she was cleaning out his father’s office: “If you have succeeded in putting one truth into circulation, or demolishing one falsehood,” it says, “you have done a very good day’s work.”

Eckstrom

Eckstrom

Kevin’s been with RNS for 14 years, including the last eight leading our editorial team. He’s fascinated by the intersection of religion and public life — particularly our ever-evolving national dialogue over gays in the church, the growth of unbelief, and the place of religion in our collective life.

“My dad wasn’t a journalist, but every day when I sit down in this chair I try to put the words on his little sign into practice,” Kevin says. “Our job here at RNS isn’t to take sides about whether any particular faith is true, but to tell the truths about belief in contemporary life, and to knock down the falsehoods that can too easily lead to misunderstanding and conflict.”

Today, we ask you to help us keep telling the narrative of religion in American life. We need to raise $10,000 between now and Friday. We’re halfway there, but we need another $5,000 to go.
If you value the ways RNS creates a forum for serious and respectful discussion about belief and doubt, please consider a donation of $50 or more to support the work we do. RNS is a nonprofit charity, so any donation you make is tax-deductible.

If you’ve already given, thank you for your support.
Yonat Shimron, Managing Editor, and the RNS staff


RNS pioneers nonbelievers beat

If you’ve been following Religion News Service for the past two years, you’ve noticed we’ve added a bunch of new bloggers. Chris Stedman, a humanist chaplain at Harvard and director of the Yale Humanist Community, is one of them.

Stedman

Stedman

Stedman writes about the nation’s growing non-theist community with a rare combination of insight and empathy. RNS was the first media outlet to create a beat dedicated to covering atheist and unaffiliated Americans, and we are proud to add Stedman’s regular commentaries, too.

“I feel profoundly lucky to be a part of the conversation here at RNS, and am grateful to have a forum for lifting up diverse atheist ideas, stories, and perspectives,” Stedman said.

Today, we ask you to help us keep our reporting and commentaries on unaffiliated communities strong. We need to raise $10,000 between now and Friday. We’re halfway there, but we need another $5,000 to go.

For a contribution of $100, we will send you a signed copy of Stedman’s book, “Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious.”

If you value the ways RNS creates a forum for serious and respectful discussion about belief and doubt, please consider a donation of $50 or more to support the work we do. RNS is a nonprofit charity, so any donation you make is tax-deductible.

If you’ve already given, thank you for your support.
Kevin Eckstrom, editor-in-chief and the RNS staff


Multimedia editor creates instinctual, emotional responses

For 80 years, RNS has been known mostly as a wire service, transmitting stories made up of words. But in the past two years, we’ve been adding more images and videos, too.

RNS Multimedia Editor Sally Morrow

RNS Multimedia Editor Sally Morrow

Sally Morrow, our multimedia editor, believes images are the first thing that capture readers’ attention and, very often, those images elicit an instinctual, emotional response.

A talented photojournalist, Morrow has begun adding videos to our lineup. Check out her videos of atheists and church members playing volleyball, a video essay on Tibetan monks creating a sand mandala, and an unusual church exhibit of the many faces of Jesus.

“Video brings us closer to really seeing and hearing people and their stories first hand, rather than having them filtered through the written word.”

If we want to convey religious experience, video storytelling is a powerful tool in our arsenal. We’d like to do more of it, and today we’re asking for your help to raise $10,000 to keep our reporting, whether in word or image, strong.

Journalism isn’t free. It requires financial resources to pay reporters and editors to research, write, shoot photos and videos, edit and distribute them.

If you value the ways multimedia has made visual storytelling come alive, please consider a donation of $50 or more to support the work we do. RNS is a nonprofit charity, so any donation you make is tax-deductible.

While you’re at it, let us know how we’re doing and how we can improve.

On behalf of the whole team here at RNS, thank you!
Kevin Eckstrom, editor-in-chief, and the RNS staff


Staff strives to bring readers richest, deepest, most comprehensive religion news

RNS meeting

RNS Editorial Meeting via Google+ Hangout

If you’ve ever wanted a behind-the-scenes peek at RNS, the Monday morning staff meeting is the place to be. At 11 a.m. E.S.T., 10 or so reporters and editors log onto a video chat platform to discuss the stories they will be working on that week. The hour-long Google hangout allows our far-flung staff to come together in one virtual newsroom.

There’s Kimberly in San Francisco talking about atheists; David in New York explaining the ins and outs of the Catholic Church; and Lauren in Washington telling us what to expect from in her upcoming story on kosher sex. The banter is easy and the jokes plentiful. Since we can actually see each other, Multimedia Editor Sally Morrow shows us the size of her growing baby bump. (She’s expecting in July.)

But the real reason we gather is because of you, our readers. We strive to bring you the richest, deepest and most comprehensive news from the world of religion. As a nonprofit, RNS is a lean operation with a very tight budget. Today we’re asking you to help us raise $10,000 to keep RNS strong.

Journalism isn’t free. It requires financial resources to pay reporters and editors to research, write, edit, post, distribute and archive stories.

If you value the daily Roundup of religion news, log on to read the latest post by Jonathan Merritt or Chris Stedman, or enjoy our occasional online quizzes, please consider a donation of $50 or more to support the work we do. RNS is a nonprofit charity, so any donation you make is tax-deductible. For a gift of $250, we’ll invite you to sit in on one of our Monday staff meetings.

While you’re at it, let us know how we’re doing and how we can improve.

On behalf of the whole team here at RNS, thank you!
Kevin Eckstrom, editor-in-chief, and the RNS staff

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