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Connecting with journalism professors is strategic

CEO NOTES | As an organization, we have a keen interest in helping Christian journalism thrive

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It’s been another year of firsts for the WORLD Journalism Institute under the leadership of Lee Pitts, WJI’s executive director.

This year, WJI inaugurated Spanish-language and young professionals courses in July, serving 28 students altogether. WJI also built on firsts from the previous year: our European course, this year in Brussels in August, and a second journalism professors’ retreat during Asheville’s most glorious season in October.

Our outreach to journalism professors is strategic, because as an organization, we have a keen interest in helping Christian journalism thrive. We’re expecting professors from 10 Christian ­colleges to join us at this year’s retreat.

For those of us representing WJI, the retreats have been focused on listening to the professors as they discuss the challenges and hopes, successes and failures, and knotty issues of college journalism training. For the professors, the retreat offers an opportunity to share ideas and concerns and a lot of prayer for their respective ministries.

Some of the attending professors we have worked extensively with before, and others we will meet for the first time. Some are part of large journalism departments at their home colleges; some are the sole journalism professor in a broader communications program. Some focus on print journalism, some on ­digital, some on broadcast. Most have been at this for many years; a few are ­relatively new to the field.

So far, all have served at Christian colleges, but we expect that to change in the future. All have committed their energy, time, and creativity to training young Christian journalists.

We have that in common with them.

Lord willing, we will continue—and expand—this program. We don’t know exactly where it is headed beyond the retreats. To the extent funding has allowed, we have always tried to position WJI as a resource for, and perhaps an extension of, college journalism programs. College journalism programs, especially at Christian colleges, face the same financial pressures their parent institutions are facing.

We do too, but perhaps there are opportunities to multiply results by finding ways to work together. Beyond encouragement, finding and implementing those opportunities is the goal of this program. We are looking forward to this year’s retreat and the future of this unique initiative. We hope it is restorative and encouraging for the professors. It certainly has been for us.

Kevin Martin

Kevin Martin is the CEO of WORLD News Group.


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