Stiefel Freethought Foundation awards grant to RNLLC
Monday, August 22, 2011
Posted by: Rachel Friel
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2011
Contact: Yonat Shimron
Freethought Foundation awards grant to RNLLC
News LLC, the parent corporation for Religion News Service (RNS) was recently awarded
a generous $50,000 grant from the Stiefel Freethought Foundation for coverage
of the growing community of atheists, agnostics, humanists and freethinkers.
grant will allow RNS to bolster its coverage of this segment of the U.S. public
with a series of news, investigations, feature stories and photos.
is a trusted source of authoritative news about religion, spirituality and
ideas. Monday through Friday, the Washington, D.C. –based wire produces dozens
of news and feature stories and distributes them to 200 media organizations,
including The Washington Post, USA Today, and The
Huffington Post. RNS also has many religious media subscribers,
including National Catholic Reporter and Christianity
consistently show that the number of people who say they are unaffiliated with
any particular faith is growing. A recent Pew survey indicated 16.1 percent of
the U.S. public now considers itself unaffiliated, more than double the number
who said they were not affiliated with any particular religion as children.
not all unaffiliated Americans are atheists, this particular group has shown a
newfound willingness to assert its presence and demand equal treatment. In
addition, academics are beginning to study the non-religious, sometimes known
as "nones,” to probe what unites and divides them. The Stiefel Foundation grant
allows RNS to expand its reporting staff to cover the movement, which tends to
be portrayed selectively or sensationalized in other media accounts.
studies have shown that non-believers are growing faster than many traditional
religious groups,” said Kevin Eckstrom, editor-in-chief of Religion News
Service. "If we want to better understand the values and beliefs of the
American public we need to pay more attention to this group. We are grateful
this grant allows us to do that.”
Stiefel, the founder and president of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, is a
former pharmaceutical executive and full-time activist who lives in Raleigh,
NC. He has given more than $3 million dollars to support various freethought
in 1933, RNS was recently sold to a group of professional religion reporters in
the secular media who have restructured the service as a 501(c)3 non-profit
organization. It does not endorse or promote any particular religion, creed or
set of beliefs or non-beliefs.