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When a media rating service called NewsGuard contacted WORLD and asked us to cooperate while its staff graded our journalism, I was skeptical.
Founded by lawyer and journalist Steven Brill and former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz, NewsGuard’s website says it uses “transparent tools to counter misinformation for readers, brands, and democracies.” Misinformation, a liberal shibboleth of recent vintage, usually means Anything Not Liberal. I thought cooperating with NewsGuard would be a waste of time at best. At worst, it felt a little like being asked to loop the noose around your neck at your own hanging.
Sometimes it’s great to be wrong. After spending months scouring our website and peppering us with questions, NewsGuard issued its report, which graded us in nine categories. You’ll have to pay their fee to learn the details, but boiled down, NewsGuard’s conclusion was simply this: Readers can trust WORLD’s reporting.
Here’s a question, though: Should Christian journalists care what secular watchdogs think? J.I. Packer thought so. “Think of what revitalizing journalism would do for the cause of Christ in America,” Packer said famously in a conversation with WORLD’s editor in chief nearly 20 years ago. “It is the most needed sort of pre-evangelism.”
In other words, to succeed in our calling as Christian journalists in a fallen world, we must earn trust as journalists. Think of Paul at Athens: After first-century cultural influencers heard him reasoning from the Scriptures with everyday people, they invited him to argue at the Areopagus. Fast-forward to the 21st century: If WORLD’s journalism is to help in redeeming the culture, we too must earn a hearing—and we have. Today’s zeitgeist winds bring storms without rain, leaving people thirsty for truth. More people are learning that WORLD delivers the Truth on which the zeitgeist breaks.
We arrived here via strong Christian leadership, but also through faithful Christian partnership. For 40 years, you’ve partnered with us financially, enabling us to serve hundreds of thousands of believers each month and also reason Biblically with the larger world.
This year, we are looking for two very special kinds of partners. First, I am asking each of you to consider a new category of giving—WORLD Sustaining Partner—at the very modest rate of just $15 a month.
Why so little? Because of the exponential power of pooling our gifts. Consider this: Nine in 10 of WORLD’s 10,000 donors give an average of $183 over the year. That’s only $15 per donor per month—but combined, it’s more than $1.6 million!
Why a monthly gift? Because our Sustaining Partners will provide regular, reliable funding that helps us both “keep the lights on” and plan new initiatives.
We would also like to partner with larger-dollar donors, who in 2023 can rightly claim to have beaten secular media to the punch. American news is now losing two newspapers per week and will by 2025 employ two-thirds fewer reporters than in 2005. Meanwhile, fully half of U.S. counties now have little or no access to reliable local news. The secular solution? Charitable giving. In 2023, major donors ponied up $500 million to rescue ailing local news. Yet WORLD donors have understood for decades the value of nonprofit journalism—but on a national scale and with a more eternal commitment. So if giving is your gift (Romans 12:8), we hope you’ll consider a generous gift this year.
In 2023, the media watchdog Ad Fontes included WORLD in its annual Media Bias Chart. It charted us center-right on worldview (in the vicinity of The Wall Street Journal) and, like NewsGuard, acknowledged that we trade in the coin of real journalism: reliability.
What secular watchdogs giveth they can also taketh away, of course. And as real journalism crumbles in both quantity and quality, we still stand only because of you.
Please visit wng.org/donate or use the handy envelope in our printed magazine to partner with us today as we serve believers and engage the culture—without Biblical compromise.