Christian journalist is not an oxymoron

Both our faith and our profession call us to improve our ability to pursue truth.

Melissa Hedrick, Writer

Last week, The Chimes released two articles — a news story and a features story — and a video interview on the topic of a Planned Parenthood defenders group started by a Biola University student. This ignited a variety of responses from our community, and called our staff to consider our roles and work as journalists and Christians.

The current state of journalism as a whole is precarious. National media has been called into question often, especially surrounding politics. Much doubting and questioning revolving around the purpose and best practices of journalism has taken place.

We, as journalists, are called to report truth. As we approach different topics, people, groups, events and so on, we are doing what we can to seek truth. This requires we speak to multiple sources, consult authorities and get to the heart of different situations. This is a tedious process, and we admit there are times when not every detail is discovered or presented. In the occasions we fail to do this, our work appears biased even though that is far from our intent.

As Christians, we are also called to seek truth. This is not contrary to our role as journalists, but complementary. Sometimes, though, what we cover and who we speak to may hold opinions that may differ from the majority, the accepted norm or our own views. We are to think biblically about everything, but that does not mean we can avoid covering topics that are disagreed upon by those in the Christian community.

At The Chimes, all of our staff members are students preparing to go into a field where many do not recognize Jesus as savior, and we have a unique opportunity to share that light with others, both in our interactions in the newsroom and through the media we produce. This also means we cannot shy away from hard-to-talk-about subjects. We are not to condemn others for their opinions nor can we negate the news of something occurring if we disagree with what is happening. We are called to give those we interact with respect and dignity, recognizing the benefits of diversity, not only of people’s backgrounds but of their opinions.

Often, when handled properly, discourse about challenging topics can bring about more truth. When we seek to listen to each other and see a side we do not agree with, it allows us to grow both as individuals and as members of the body of Christ.

This being said, The Chimes is an important place of growth. Though we are preprofessional journalists who commit ourselves to creating quality content, our paper is also a place of learning. I have learned more working for this publication than I ever could in a classroom, and, though it is challenging, some of the most important lessons arise out of our shortcomings and weaknesses.

This being said, it is of the utmost value for The Chimes to cover all aspects of our community and we will continue to do so. As we approach these topics as a staff each year, we will continue to grow in how well we cover them, evaluating the best way to fully encapsulate the truth of each story.

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