Religion News Service — the non-profit media group that famously took a grant from atheists aimed at providing favorable news coverage — provided a balanced look at the US Army’s research into the previously-discussed virtual chaplain training, otherwise known as “spiritual triage.”
Trailing the [computer animated] combat medics, the uniformed military chaplain kneels and performs “spiritual triage,” assessing who is dead, who is soon to die, and who is likely to survive.
For the dead, there is silent prayer; for the gravely wounded and those in pain, there are words of comfort…At each point in the action, a prompt asks users what they think is the appropriate Read more
Writing at TheBlaze, Billy Hallowell raises questions about the ethics of the Religion News Service (RNS) after he describes their decision to accept funding from an activist atheist — without publicly acknowledging they had done so.
The Stiefel Freethought Foundation (SFF), a hub for the atheist movement, has given $65,000 [to the Religion News Service] over the past two years to help fund coverage of non-believers and the so-called “freethought” movement. The organization, run by atheist millionaire Todd Stiefel…, has a very clear goal of organizing atheists, while spreading and advancing non-belief.
Under a section entitled “Accomplishments in 2011,” the [SFF] site reads, “SFF donated $50,000 to Religion News Service to bolster its coverage of freethinkers with a series of news, investigations, feature stories and photos.”
Hallowell says “most” news organizations would find this relationships “suspect,” and questions if the donation might influence the tone of reporting:
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.
If this sounds familiar, it should. Hallowell is referring to the issue raised here regarding the RNS reporting of Kimberly Winston, who has written veritable “press releases” for atheists. These articles have included stories on the atheist counter-Christian “Rock Beyond Belief” organized by atheist Army SGT Justin Griffith, which was an event Read more
The atheist Rock Beyond Belief festival has received a fair amount of press recently, though it has mostly come through a variety of outlets repeating a single story originally written by the Religion News Service.
Kimberly Winston of RNS wrote “Military atheists get ready to ‘rock beyond belief,’” which, while a noble effort, still largely came across as a press release for the atheists. (By contrast, the ChristianPost had a somewhat more thorough article. In full disclosure, the ChristianPost article does cite ChristianFighterPilot.com extensively.)
What Winston failed to disclose in her original story is Read more
Not everyone can be right all the time, but when it comes to journalists, you think they’d at least try.
Reprinted at the Huffington Post, Religion News Service writer Kimberly Winston wrote on the recently approved “Rock Beyond Belief” to occur at Fort Bragg next spring. Her article reads like a press release, not a news report. Explaining the background of “Rock Beyond Belief,” she says
[Rock the Fort], staged by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, received more than $50,000 in financial support from the base, according to records obtained by local atheists through the Freedom of Information Act.
As the Army already pointed out, that’s a mischaracterization of the “records obtained.”
Winston then makes a statement that is known to be categorically untrue: Read more