Dear WORLD Reader,
Last week one of our young WORLD reporters sent me this introspective note:
"I'm really good at coming up with ideas and topics, but not good at turning those topics and ideas into feature stories. I get stuck in the collection phase - I keep creating and staring at lists of interesting people and things but I don't know whether a WORLD-worthy story is there or not. So, how do you go from hearing about something to writing about it? Do you ask yourself particular questions?"
My answer is yes, and I have a long list - but to keep it short here I'll mention just three.
The first grows out of the journalistic adage, "If a dog bites a man it's not news, but if a man bites a dog, it is." For example, during 2012 WORLD exposed the error of the National Association of Evangelicals in taking $1 million from a group promoting pre-marital sex and working with a leading pro-abortion foundation. That was man-bites-dog, and once we publicized this, the NAE backed off.
My second question involves a twist on the adage: "Are thousands of dogs biting thousands of men?" In other words, are we seeing not an isolated incident but a major trend, or even an "ooze," a big development that is slowly changing America? The growth of cohabitation among people in their 20s and 30s is certainly an ooze, and one we've covered during recent years, pointing out problems as we do.
My third question is, "What's behind the ooze, and could what's not being reported change the attitudes that underlie it?" The baby boom generation's divorce record has certainly scared a lot of boomer children, so we've decided to report on couples who faced problems but worked through them and have been married for at least 35 years. Read some of the stories on our website: It's important not to gloss over the difficulties and run what seem like fairy-tales, but to make them real.
We plan to continue that series in 2013 and begin a series on couples who married young and are in the process of raising young children now, working through problems as they do. Sure, we could be hysterical like some publications or super-smiley like others, but we believe in calm reporting of both good news and bad news. We believe that we're living in the world that God has made, man has messed up, and Christ is redeeming - so let's be sad about sin but glad about the opportunities God is throwing our way.
We have plans to increase the reach of WORLD Radio and WORLDmag.com, train Christian reporters through the World Journalism Institute, and expand our investigative reporting. You can help us to build by contributing financially to this work. You can also read about our plans in a column I recently wrote, or write to our director of development, Debra Meissner (email@example.com) for more information.
Editor in Chief
WORLD News Group
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