The 10th WORLD mid-career course provides intensive training in reporting and writing magazine, website, and radio stories from a Christian worldview. It is not for those whose goal is to write columns, op. eds., devotionals, exegetical essays, memoirs, fiction, or poetry. The course emphasizes pavement-pounding, phone-calling, document-reading reporting, and writing with strong verbs and nouns in the active voice. The class meets January 3-9, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with time off for meals but no time off for good behavior: Halfway through the course comes the Sabbath, a day of rest. Students during the course of the week research and write five potentially publishable pieces— general news story, specialty news story, part of a feature story, book review, and television review—plus two others. Venue: the Olasky living room 4106 Firstview Drive, Austin, TX 78731.
Only those prepared to absorb tough criticism of their writing should attend. The course will also touch on the history and theology of Christian journalism. It provides basic training for WORLD members who desire to improve their writing and perhaps become World News Group correspondents who report on news within their metropolitan area or field of experience. It rarely leads to full-time WORLD work.
Many people these days are talking about the usefulness of "citizen journalists," but that practice has a long history within American Christianity. In 1681 a general meeting of Massachusetts ministers resolved that each should be a correspondent, with the responsibility to "enquire diligently into, and Record such Illustrious Providences as have happened" in their towns including "Tempests, Floods, Earthquakes, Thunders as are unusual...Remarkable Judgements upon noted Sinners; eminent Deliverances, and Answers of Prayer."
Over the next 150 years, volunteer correspondents worked alongside editors. In 1830, according to observers, three-fourths of American newspapers and magazines were explicitly Christian. That changed over the next few decades as editors often embraced Transcendentalism and "freethought." In the 20th century, theological and political liberalism came to dominate the press.
Today, the World News Group (magazine, websites, radio) reports God's illustrious providences for the benefit of our 500,000 readers and listeners. World is largely staff-written and staff-produced, with full-time staffers in 11 states, and WJI-trained mid-career correspondents pitching in on a weekly or monthly basis elsewhere.
Anyone from age 30 to age 70 with a record of accomplishment and a desire to write for a World News Group publication or broadcast. We want correspondents in each of the 50 largest metropolitan areas and are 2/3 of the way there. We're also looking for correspondents who can write about the specialty areas they know well through their professional experience. Applicants with published articles and/or radio experience welcome.
An obituary of a major figure: Admitted students will receive a list of famous elderly people. We will edit those on the first day of class. After editing, the obituary will be kept until the time God decides, and then published on the WORLD website.
Free tuition, but you should take into account the cost of travel to Austin, food, lodging, and perhaps car rental, if other students don't have cars. Applicants admitted to the course will receive an email about housing options: Olasky house (three bedrooms available, with costs ranging from $50 to $100 per night), a nearby house across the street (two bedrooms available at $100 per night), and hotels (many about five miles away, with prices ranging from $70 to $200).
Marvin Olasky is editor in chief of the World News Group, dean of the World Journalism Institute, and holder of the Distinguished Chair in Journalism and Public Policy at Patrick Henry College. He worked at The Boston Globe, taught at the University of Texas at Austin from 1983 through 2007, and was provost of The King's College in New York City from 2007 to 2011. He joined WORLD in 1990.
Dr. Olasky has written 20 books, including The Religions Next Door, Standing for Christ in a Modern Babylon, Scimitar's Edge, Renewing American Compassion, Telling the Truth, Central Ideas in the Development of American Journalism, The Press and Abortion, Prodigal Press, and The Tragedy of American Compassion, which Philanthropy magazine deemed one of “eight books that changed America.”
He has written more than 2,000 articles in publications including WORLD, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, and is often referred to as the intellectual father of compassionate conservatism.
Dr. Olasky has degrees from of the University of Michigan and Yale University.
Susan Olasky is a senior writer for WORLD, for which she produces radio stories, book reviews, and lifestyle features. A graduate of the University of Michigan with a master's degree in public policy, she founded the Austin Crisis Pregnancy Center in 1984 and has co-authored articles opposing abortion along with a book, More Than Kindness: A Compassionate Approach to Crisis Childbearing. She was a columnist for the West Austin News during the 1990s. The Olaskys have four sons, one daughter-in-law, and one grandbaby.
Susan Olasky is also the author of eight historical novels for children and is an assistant professor at Patrick Henry College, where she and Marvin Olasky supervise WORLD interns and interview newsmakers in front of students. On September 22, 2006, an $800 Jeopardy clue - "Susan Olasky has written a kids' series about the adventures of Annie, daughter of this fiery Virginia orator" - was a triple stumper.