Camp Quest UK Issues Corrections To Inaccurate Articles June 30, 2009

Camp Quest UK Issues Corrections To Inaccurate Articles

I mentioned yesterday that a series of articles in The Sunday Times (UK) was riddled with inaccuracies.

Samantha Stein, the camp director, has issued corrections to the pieces.

There are a *lot*:

“Dawkins sets up kids’ camp to groom atheists” (Headline)

Richard Dawkins is not setting up Camp Quest UK. The word “groom” is misleading, offensive and inaccurate.

“Dawkins, who is subsidising the camp, said it was designed to ‘encourage children to
think for themselves, sceptically and rationally’ “

Richard Dawkins has no personal involvement with Camp Quest. He is not “subsidising” the camp. The Richard Dawkins Foundation has made a small one?off donation to Camp Quest.

Those are just two of many.

Take-home message: Even when it’s positive press, as this was intended to be, don’t trust everything you read verbatim. Reporters rarely get all the facts straight.

All this said, it was great publicity for Camp Quest UK — lots of major British media wanted to talk about it after the articles were published.

(via Science, Reason, and Critical Thinking)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Ryan

    I like the point about being “peerless.” They are a one of a kind thing, for sure, and even the article seemed to make that clear.

  • Cafeeine

    Even when it’s positive press, as this was intended to be

    “Camp Dawkins”?
    “grooming atheists”?

    If this is considered positive press, I hate to see what is considered negative.

  • Max

    The Sunday Times (UK) is not one of the most respectable newspapers, and their journaists tend to give certian latitude to the truth in order to sell newspapers

  • Sackbut

    I’ve seen two pieces in my news feed that derive from the original Times article and are obviously misinformed. One, Are Atheist Camps Targeting Children?, is (despite the title) a positive piece by the “Norfolk Atheist Parenting Examiner,” Yvette Edwards. Another, Atheist Dawkins imports U.S. God-free summer camp to England, is a short fluff bit in USA Today.

    The latter item is in a column called “Faith and Reason: A conversation about religion, spirituality & ethics.” How does reason fit into the conversation topics, I wonder.

  • Aj

    I was reading a post about Dawkins donating to the camp on BoingBoing that linked to a more accurate article and a bunch of ignorant douchebags were throwing around similar accusations even though they didn’t know anything at all about the camp, they didn’t even need prompting by the Sunday Times. The Sunday Times was just writing what morons want to read (already believe), that is their targetted audience.

    The most stupid expressions of their prejudice was when a few concluded that the “disprove the existence of unicorns” exercise was about teaching dogma, instead of the obvious lesson in futility of trying to disprove a negative. There was the usual lies about Dawkins, who they thought was single handedly running the camp instead of what the story said, giving a one off donation. Some even suggested that Camp Quest was no better than Jesus Camp. Some of it was coming from fellow nonbelievers, which shows that even those who cannot believe are brainwashed into gifting religion special treatment.