For nearly 80 years, the Religion News Service has been an authoritative source of news about religion, spirituality and ideas. With a team of correspondents around the world, RNS provides news on religion and its intersections with political and cultural issues. Our stories are distributed to the nation’s leading newspapers, news magazines, online media outlets, broadcasting firms and religious publications.
The Religious News Service was founded by journalist Louis Minsky (1909-1957), as an independent, non-profit affiliate of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. From the start, it was dedicated to providing fair, balanced, non-sectarian news about religion to the secular and religious press.
In 1983, RNS was acquired by the Dallas-based United Methodist Reporter and continued to operate as an independent news agency. In 1994, Newhouse News Service, a major publisher of daily newspapers and magazines, purchased it and changed its name to Religion News Service.
In June 2011, RNS returned to its non-profit roots when it was acquired by the Religion Newswriters Association and its foundation, registered as a new 501(c)3 owned by Religion News LLC.
With a three-year grant totaling nearly $3.5 million from the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc., RNS plans to expand its online presence and launch a series of community religion websites devoted to maintaining and expanding coverage of religion news.
The RNS editorial office shares space with University of Missouri programs at the National Press Building, 529 14th St. NW, Washington D.C., DC 20045. Dr. Debra L. Mason, executive director of Religion Newswriters and a professor at the University of Missouri’s Journalism School, manages the news service.
Under the leadership of Editor-in-Chief Kevin Eckstrom, RNS continues to expand its coverage to include the intersection of religion with politics, gay rights, immigration, the environment and the atheist community. The RNS has nearly 200 subscribers.