Voices
Illustration by Krieg Barrie

Boldly forward

An invitation to shape the future of journalism

Issue: "'To stay is to be killed'," Nov. 29, 2008

If WORLD were not a magazine but a typical Christian or public radio station, you'd be used to at least twice-per-year, multiple-day-long program interruptions for fund drives.

If I do say so, it's one of the advantages of a magazine that you have the option-right this very second-of turning this page, getting all the benefits of the rest of this issue, and not having to spend a single second reading my commercial.

But you didn't turn the page, did you? And for that courtesy, I am enormously grateful. Here at WORLD, we have typically chosen to interrupt you for our fundraiser very briefly, and only once a year.

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This year, we're upping the ante a bit. On this page, I want to update you about three distinct aspects of God's World Publications, the parent company of WORLD magazine. In Passion meets opportunity, WORLD's publisher Nick Eicher will step you through what we both see as an imperative: As the news industry in general retreats from the task of factual newsgathering, we at WORLD believe it's time to pour more resources into biblical worldview journalism.

WORLD, of course, is our flagship. Since I wrote my first column for WORLD's first issue almost 23 years ago, our purpose has been two-fold: First, we've wanted to give our readers a helpful and reliable summary of recent world news on a number of fronts: politics, international affairs, education, science, health, church and missions, family, popular culture, etc. And second, we've wanted to do that, to the best of our ability, through the lens of biblical truth.

God's World News: Few of our readers know that in 1981, even prior to WORLD's first issue, we had started reaching for the same goals with an audience of young children. Through God's World News, published now for four different age levels, we help K-8 kids and their families keep up on what's going on in the world-and we help them develop a biblical perspective on all that. Now we are beginning to take these publications for children to an important new level. For schools and homeschools, we seek to recreate the God's World series-which already goes regularly to 140,000 children-as an increasingly useful, full-fledged curriculum in history, geography, government, civics, and economics, from a distinctly biblical perspective.

Children reading God's World News will be the leaders of tomorrow. Does it matter what and how they think? I certainly believe it does.

World Journalism Institute, based at The King's College in New York City, is the third facet of our work. WJI works to recruit, train, place, and encourage Christian journalists in mainstream newsrooms. The institute's journalism instruction leads typically to internships and employment with newspapers, radio or TV broadcasters, or other media outlets. WJI has been urgently but thoughtfully countering the secularism of the mainstream media for the last 10 years, supported almost completely by your contributions.

Now there's some opportunity for you! If you find that as overwhelming as I do, and you don't want to pick just one of the three, simply write out a check to WORLD, use the envelope tucked between the next two pages, and let management make best use of it. But if you want to designate it specifically-or if you want to know a little more about the opportunities I've described-please get in touch with us. (For information on donating to WORLD's First Job Fund, click here.)

Any size gift is appropriate, and all gifts are tax deductible. Last year in this space, I said I was looking for 25 people who might see this assignment as so important that they'd commit to give $5,000 annually for three years. That many, and even a few more, responded with such a generous commitment.

Am I overly optimistic-especially in these perilous economic times-to hope for 25 more? Or is it the perilous nature of the times that should make me even more optimistic about your response than I would otherwise be?

If you have a question or comment for Joel Belz, send it to jbelz@worldmag.com.

Joel Belz
Joel Belz

Joel, WORLD's founder, writes a regular column for the magazine and contributes commentaries for The World and Everything in It. He is also the author of Consider These Things.

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