WORLD has tried to emphasize on-the-spot reporting over essay writing. Our goal has been to show, not tell, by emphasizing tough reporting. Selecting the articles for this anthology has been hard, because our staff members have trod lots of dust, mud, and cement over the years; this book could readily be ten times larger.
The basic organization of this book is simple: people, places, and things. Reporters ground good stories in human interest and then describe the specific ground on which history is made. Each section has some good news but some bad as well, because Christ’s grace becomes most meaningful when we’re aware of sin. The world God made is full of nooks and crannies and weirdness, and the articles within show the variety.
WORLD has tried to avoid sugary stories and follow the biblical admonition to be salt, a preserver and taste-improver made from the union of two poisonous elements, sodium and chlorine. We have tried to be dependent on God and independent of any political faction or interest group. We have often fallen short, but have regularly pushed for factual accuracy and biblical objectivity, trying to see the world as best we can the way the Bible depicts it.
Sometimes our salt has transformed bland or unsavory dinners into memorable ones. WORLD’s coverage in 1995 of a battle between faith-based groups and Texas bureaucrats (see p. 257) led Governor George W. Bush to begin a faith-based initiative that went national in 2001. WORLD, working alongside others, succeeded in pushing the prolife movement to emphasize the provision of compassionate alternatives to abortion, and Christian poverty-fighters to emphasize challenging, personal, and spiritual help rather than an expansion of governmental welfare.
Such saltiness is nothing new. John Peter Zenger and other Christian editors from the 1600s through the 1800s created independent American journalism. In England and elsewhere, leaders demanded that reporters do public relations for the powerful. In America, those who followed the Bible insisted on realistic depictions of people, places, and things. WORLD works within that tradition. Please read on and see.