For WORLD, it’s always reporting first
Contrary to what you may have heard, we are not retreating from Biblically objective journalism
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People who don’t know much about WORLD are likely confused this week about what we do and what we stand for. It is possible that even you may be confused. It’s an odd experience to have outlets ranging from The New York Times to Hot Air to The Friendly Atheist airing our dirty laundry and in their own way praising our work.
So a few points of clarity are in order.
First, we don’t do our work with the hope of recognition from, let alone the backhanded admiration of, any of the aforementioned outlets. We don’t seek to appeal to the broadest possible audience, or to drive the most digital traffic, or to attract a lot of attention. No, our work is a service to you, our members, in order to help the Church. Of course we’d like to serve more members, and a greater diversity of members, but this tends to happen indirectly, the byproduct of producing quality journalism.
Second, we practice Biblically objective journalism. It’s in our mission (printed in red, right at the top of the masthead). When we do our job properly, the reality of the Bible infuses our reporting, our analysis, our opinions, our interviews, and our reviews.
Third, I put “reporting” first in that list for a reason. Since Joel Belz founded the organization 40 years ago, on-the-ground reporting has set WORLD apart from many of its evangelical counterparts, and will continue to do so. The vast majority of our editorial resources go to reporting, which is expensive and time-consuming. We believe we can serve our audience uniquely through our reporting. That’s why we do it.
Fourth, we provide non-reporting content for your benefit also. You have been asking for help in thinking through the tense issues you are encountering in your lives. I need the same help. Historically, WORLD has included some of that help in the form of our Voices columns here in the magazine. Joel Belz and Marvin Olasky, together, have used more than 2,000 such columns to bring context and understanding to our reporting, all in the service of informing, educating, and inspiring you.
With WORLD Opinions, we hope to provide more of that context and understanding—daily—to go along with our vastly expanded reporting. Your support of all of our Biblically objective journalism has enabled both the expanded reporting and the expanded commentary, along with new platforms to host them.
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