Our Mission and Rationale
The mission of the World Journalism Institute is to recruit, equip, place and encourage journalists who are Christians in the newsrooms of America first and then the world.
The World Journalism Institute seeks to identify aspiring journalists who are Christians and help them become proficient and professional in their calling of journalism. Our primary focus is media because newspapers, magazines, internet sites and broadcast news outlets are primary sources of information about the world. Christians, joining those of many persuasions in the newsroom, can be beneficial in accurately understanding and reporting the events of the day.
The Institute contracts with many outstanding working journalists and teachers of journalism to provide the instruction in our courses, choosing people of faith with records of high professional achievement as reporters, writers, editors and teachers. We do not require our guest teachers or students to adhere to any set of theological doctrines, other than the Nicene Creed which is the basic creedal statement of the Institute. Thus, the Institute has Protestants, Roman Catholics and Greek Orthodox journalists as guest teachers and students. Our guest luncheon speakers are prominent and influential journalists and editors, without regard to creedal commitments..
The theological understandings of the Institute inform our approach to journalism. While reforming our understanding of the craft is a continuing and never-ending process, our theology does suggest several practices:
1. We believe that all people are created in the image of God; therefore all people are to be treated with respect and integrity. This understanding must influence the attitude of the journalist toward those persons in any given story. Even those with whom we have profound disagreement deserve our kindness, respect and fairness in presentation. The Christian in journalism should seek justice, liberty and fulfillment for all people.
2. We believe in the spiritual fall of all humanity which has affected our moral and rational judgments. Each individual is influenced by upbringing, education and environment. Choices are made in any given story development -- choices that require value judgments on the part of journalists and editors. The Christian in journalism aims to be fair, accurate, honest, impartial and humble in chasing the story. This approach, of course, is not a uniquely Christian position.
3. We believe in a personal God who is truth and who is sovereign over the affairs of this world; therefore the Christian journalist should be fearless in presenting all views of a given issue and should not intend to be the censor of ideas before those ideas reach the marketplace. The Christian in journalism will let the Lord of truth sort things out in the marketplace of ideas.
4. We believe that journalism is a noble calling for a Christian. The Christian in journalism is in the newsroom to report, write and explain in accordance with the highest standards of the profession. Factual accuracy in news reporting, undiminished and undistorted by attitudes and outlooks, is the bedrock of the trade. When reporters and editors get that right, they serve the public honorably and well. If asked about one's Christian convictions, the Christian in journalism should have the freedom to answer any question in a warm-hearted and gracious manner without fear of professional or personal reprisal.