It's hard to know what's coming next on our American roller coaster, but more harassment of Christians seems on the way. More than ever we need news organizations that recognize this is God's world. For that reason, I'm still grateful to Joel Belz for bringing me into WORLD 21 years ago, four years after Joel began the magazine in 1986. This year brings not only WORLD's 25th anniversary but Joel's 70th birthday, on Aug. 10.
And what of the next few years? With God's grace we are starting a major expansion. Here's news about seven initiatives:
- World on Campus (worldoncampus.com) starts next month. Digital-only, WOC will be like WORLD but specifically designed for students from 15 to 25. Close behind its web launch, we plan to roll out a free WOC iPhone app. College students with journalistic or business interests who want to work on WOC should write to June McGraw.
- For high-school students specifically, Trak (gwnews.com) starts next month on both paper and the internet. Parents who have enjoyed our children's newspapers and WORLD have long asked us for an in-between edition for high-school students who have different cultural reference points than either grade-schoolers or adults.
- Creation of student news bureaus. Since February students at Patrick Henry College have been producing a prototype, World Virginia (worldmag.com/virginia): It provides state and local coverage and helps bright college students improve their writing and knowledge of the world. This fall we plan to start up two more: World New York and World California.
- Mobilizing non-students: That's the goal of another new initiative, which begins on Oct. 24 as we expand the World Journalism Institute by hosting in Asheville, N.C., five days of journalism training by me for WORLD subscribers. Tuition is free and attendees pay their own expenses. The class is limited to 10: Interested subscribers aged 25 to 75 should send resumés and writing samples to June McGraw.
- iPad: The technical work is complete and Apple has approved an updated app that offers subscriptions. I've seen it and it looks great. Go to our subcription page for all the details.
- An expanded World Journalism Institute that will train students for both WORLD writing and secular alternatives. WJI early next year will also put on a training course by Mindy Belz for African journalists, with the goal of creating another website, World Africa.
- Radio: As I write, we're looking forward to the Aug. 6 debut of a weekly, national 2-hour WORLD radio show, The World and Everything in It, led by publisher Nick Eicher. Check listings (worldandeverything.com) to see if it's on a station near you. The programs will feature in-depth contributions from our WORLD team as well as news reports from the Salem network's White House and Capitol Hill correspondents.
As WORLD grows, we remain firm in our journalistic philosophy of "biblical objectivity," which is based on faith in Christ and recognition that reporting reflects worldviews. Christians and non-Christians both believe that cancer is bad, so neither WORLD nor Time reporters feel the need to balance pro-cancer and anti-cancer viewpoints. In areas outside of medicine, though, we disagree on the definition of cancer.
Many secularist leftists believe that Christianity is cancer-but we see abortion as a cancer and Christ as the irradiating hope. We try to treat everyone with respect, but some policies-huge budget deficits and the current attack on marriage-are cancers. We see both personal and corporate "welfare" as addictive drugs that don't make us well. Secular liberals argue that higher taxes are chemotherapy, but we see them as initiative-suppressers.
National Review began publishing in 1955 with an announcement that "It stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no other is inclined to do so." WORLD at 25 has some affinities with that fine publication, but our larger goal is to yell "Start." We want more Americans to start seeing how news of sin points us to Christ. We want our readers to learn how to show compassion and grace under pressure, so that the church truly is different from the surrounding world.
To understand more about WORLD journalism, read "About us" and find out how we try to be salt, not sugar. Stand with us.