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Change and consistency

Notes from the CEO: Over the years, WORLD’s board has made strategic changes that have kept the mission on track


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More than 40 years ago, our board of directors established the mission of WORLD, and it has through God’s provision preserved the mission ever since. In all those years, the mission has not changed, but our mission statements have—as they have followed some of the changes in our methods.

Our original mission statement, at nearly 80 words, seems too lengthy to reproduce here. In the mid-1990s, we managed to cut the number of words in our original mission statement roughly in half, while maintaining the essence of our purpose:

“To report and analyze the news on a weekly schedule in an interesting, accurate, and arresting fashion, and to combine reporting with practical commentary on current events and issues from a perspective committed to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God.”

No mission statement is perfect, but that one captured fairly well both our mission and our methods, including the weekly timing of our print magazine.

By the early 2000s, though, the method of a magazine printed on a “weekly schedule” became insufficient to make good on our mission of delivering news and commentary. At that time, we changed the “weekly” in our mission statement to “timely,” and we changed our methods to include a website that allowed us to deliver content daily instead of weekly.

The board has reframed our mission statement twice since then, leaving us with our current ­version, which I hope is very familiar to you: ­“Biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.” In spite of its brevity, we believe that statement captures all of the elements of our original paragraph-long statement, while vastly expanding the possible methods by which we should fulfill the mission.

Those methods still include publishing this magazine, now biweekly, and our magazines for students. The method of an early-2000s website became WORLD Digital, with daily email newsletters and a reintroduced commentary section. We’ve added totally new methods—WORLD Radio and its suite of podcasts, WORLD Watch, and some big new things we’ve got planned for our student-­age group.

Our original mission statement, comprehensive as it was, did not envision our World Journalism Institute. But we started that program in 1999, fully within the scope of our mission, and it has grown far beyond the vision of the method we originally planned. We believe WJI’s methods will see the same vast expansion in the next few years as WORLD Magazine’s did 20 years ago.

Mission statements change, and methods change, but WORLD’s mission remains the same.

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