Last May we had 26 students from 17 states and three countries attend our hands-on course at Dordt College. WJI strengthened their ability to communicate and report. We focused on the best storytelling techniques for newspaper, magazine, radio, and video. We kept the class size small so everyone can got individual attention and mentoring from journalists with decades of reporting experiences from around the world. We gave students opportunities to get their work published. And all of this was free: free tuition, free housing, and free meals. We believe so much in our mission of developing the next generation of journalists that we invest in them as they invest in their craft.
Our journalism course at Northwest Iowa's Dordt College gives college journalists and recent graduates who are Christians the basics they need to maximize their journalistic job opportunities in a tough economy.
The course emphasizes news/feature writing and reporting for either secular publications or World New Group products: magazine, website, and radio. Students will learn to think through stories Christianly and improve their marketable skills for the digital age by receiving training in photography, videography, and sound from top professionals.
WJI students are eligible for paid internships with the World News Group.
The WJI course includes instruction in Christian worldview and the nuts and bolts of backpack journalism for convergent media. The intensive course includes pre-class assignments, two weeks of class residency, and six weeks of post-class reporting and writing.
This is a course in news/feature writing and reporting, designed to help young journalists think through stories Christianly and improve their marketable skills for the digital age. Students will generate a series of multimedia articles for their professional portfolios.
Students will improve their interviewing techniques and journalistic style, and gain training from professionals in photography, videography, and audio work. Class periods will include short lectures but emphasize discussion and analyzing/editing students' stories.
We want to maximize reporting, analyzing, and editing time when we are together, so students will read in advance what we might otherwise offer in lectures. Readings may address topics such as story development, sources of information, interviewing, investigations, accuracy, writing styles, grammar and usage, film and book reviewing, journalism history, ethics, etc.
Students will write two stories that experienced editor Russell Pulliam will read and critique. The students should be prepared to respond to Mr. Pulliam's e-mail comments as quickly as possible. Students will also write one obituary to be read by Marvin and Susan Olasky for potential publication in World.
Students should expect to spend 10 hours a day—except on Sunday.
Selected students will gain more reporting, writing, and video/audio experience . Students will publish their work on Worldmag.com or in local newspapers.
Mindy Belz is the senior editor of WORLD Magazine, and has written for that publication since 1986. She is the author of They Say We Are Infidels (Tyndale House, 2016) about her experiences covering war in Iraq and Syria. She has also covered wars in Afghanistan, Africa, and the Balkans. Her reporting has been published in
The Wall Street Journal and The Weekly Standard, among others, and she has appeared on TV newscasts and radio talk shows. She is a former Capitol Hill staffer, and attended George Washington University. Mindy is married to Nat Belz; they have four grown children, two of them married, and live in Asheville, N.C.
Edward Lee Pitts is the Associate Dean for the World Journalism Institute.
As Washington Bureau Chief for WORLD magazine for more than five years, Lee's assignments sent him from Capitol Hill to the White House to the Supreme Court. But his reporting also has taken him beyond the Capital Beltway. Leading up to the 2010 elections, Lee embarked on a 10-day, 4,225 mile cross-country trip through competitive congressional districts in 16 states. In 2004-2005, as a reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Lee embedded with a National Guard Regimental Combat unit in Iraq for nearly 7 months, going on humanitarian and combat missions. Before joining WORLD, Lee served as press secretary for U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander. Now in his thirteenth year in the media world, Lee earned a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
Russ is the Associate Editor of The Indianapolis Star and Director of Pulliam Fellowship Program. In the past, he has been a reporter for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Springfield Union, The Indianapolis News, The Indianapolis Star, and the Associated Press. He is the author of Publisher: Gene Pulliam, Last of the Newspaper Titans and a WJI monograph collection of his columns. Pulliam has earned numerous journalistic awards and has his B.A. from Williams College.
Jamie Dean is news editor at WORLD Magazine, where she’s worked as a reporter and editor since 2005. Before working at WORLD, Jamie was editor of The Charlotte World, a bi-weekly newspaper covering local news from a biblical perspective. She’s also worked at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, and spent a year on the mission field in Tijuana, Mexico, teaching English and coordinating volunteer work groups through a local church. Jamie graduated from Queens College in Charlotte, N.C., with a B.A. in English.
Nick Eicher is executive producer of WORLD Radio. He has been a broadcast and print journalist for over three decades. He has served WORLD magazine as a writer and reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher. He served as CEO of WORLD’s parent corporation, God’s World Publications, where he oversaw the publication of WORLD as well as the training program of the World Journalism Institute. In his spare time, Nick has taught editing and story structure for WJI. He has also served his duty in government and politics—as a press secretary to U.S. Rep. John W. “Jack” Buechner in Washington (1986-88) and then as press secretary for the Mark F. “Thor” Hearne congressional campaign (‘88). Eicher started broadcasting as a high-schooler (KYMC-FM, WCBW-FM, St. Louis), earned a news anchor position as a freshman (KCOU, Columbia) at the University of Missouri, became news director of KSIV-AM, St. Louis, while finishing his degree at Southern Illinois University and served as reporter at KMOX-AM, St. Louis, the summer after graduation.
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.
This course is free for all accepted student journalists. That's free tuition, free lodging, and free lunches and dinners. Students pay for their travel, a few meals (mainly breakfast), required hardware/software (a list will be provided to accepted students) and the cost of receiving academic credit from colleges.