Report to readers
WORLD’s leadership and commitment to Biblically objective journalism
Missouri pro-life leader Samuel Lee has given three decades of his life to the pro-life movement, so he naturally enjoys reading highly positive stories about it. That’s why I particularly value a letter he sent about an article by Leah Savas in our Sept. 25 issue.
The article was about women who came to pro-life centers after the Texas law protecting 6-week-old unborn children went into effect. Sam Lee praised WORLD because we did not “cherry-pick quotes to tell the story for a particular, predetermined outcome.” Sam said it would have been easy—and convenient—to say every pregnancy center saw an increase in the number of clients, and every woman came to a center happy and ready to carry her baby to term: “But that would not have been the truth!”
WORLD is thoroughly pro-life. Staff members and volunteers at pro-life centers are heroes to us. But that doesn’t mean we do public relations for them. Our job is not to make readers and listeners feel warm and fuzzy. Nor is it to make them scornful of liberals: They are also made in God’s image. Our goal is to report accurately and challenge you to think more deeply. If you agree with everything you read and hear at WORLD, we’re not doing our job.
This goes against the grain in much of journalism these days. It’s easy to be tribalistic and work to satisfy a conservative or liberal base. But WORLD is not right-wing: We try to ride on the wings of angels (and we often fall off). Sometimes, when the Bible is not clear, we offer opinions based on history and a Biblical understanding of human nature, but we always try to hold those opinions lightly—and you should too.
WORLD Magazine, Digital, and Radio will continue to emphasize reporting, because that’s the only way to know what’s happening at street-level. But we are sinners reporting on sin. We will get things wrong. When we criticize a non-Biblical perspective, we will try to look at its strongest proponent, rather than nitpick or nutpick. Nutpicking may make us feel good—“Look at those crazy people”—but it doesn’t educate us or you. We will continue to emphasize Biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires. When we fail, please tell us.
Our staff has changed over the years, of course, but we’ve had a consistent theology and practice. You should know who’s in charge now. Michael Reneau continues as the terrific editor of WORLD Magazine, and Angela Lu Fulton becomes managing editor. When my wife Susan and I in 2011 started having interns living with us each summer, Angela was in the first group, and it’s been wonderful to see her progress. Lynde Langdon, with super journalistic experience and instincts, moves up from managing editor of WORLD Digital to editor. Daniel James Devine will use his eye for detail as Digital managing editor.
At WORLD Radio, we also have an excellent male and female team at the top: Paul Butler is executive producer and Leigh Jones is managing editor. All six of these great people are graduates of the World Journalism Institute (WJI), as are all our Magazine and Digital senior reporters, reporters, reviewers, and correspondents, with the exception of Arsenio Orteza, who has been our distinguished music reviewer for three decades.
When I think of all these people, along with senior editor Mindy Belz, national editor Jamie Dean, and our WORLD Radio and WORLD Watch staffers, most of whom are also WJI grads, I’m deeply grateful for all God has done. I’m also thankful to the God’s World Publications board for an extraordinary 29 years of not letting business concerns dictate editorial direction. I remember the times WORLD barely survived financially, so I’m also thankful to donors who appreciate our Christ-first perspective and have put us in a stronger economic position than ever before.
With that funding we have expansion plans. More international coverage, including development of a European bureau. More online stories and columns. Free weekly roundups on life, education, the arts, poverty-fighting, family, intelligent design, religious liberty, politics, and globe-trotting. Please sign up at wng.org/newsletters.
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