WJI Times Observer
Case in Point column
For a couple of years I have been publicly saying that as Christian evangelicals look for a methodology to accomplish a fair representation in the elite newsrooms of America we can look to the gay rights movement as a role model. The evangelical journalistic community is divided as to strategy and tactics, just as the gay rights movement was once divided. There are evangelical journalists who advocate a more aggressive stance and those who suggest a more passive attitude. As a minority who felt the sting of discrimination in the newsrooms, gay journalists were not of one mind in formulating a unified approach to combating perceived bias and hesitancy among the editorial staff. While it is arguable whether gay journalists have succeeded in getting a place at the editorial table, it is not arguable whether evangelical journalists are accepted in the elite newsrooms. We are not, and WJI teacher relationships show this. WJI aligns itself with those who argue the benefit of having evangelical journalists be included in the reporting and writing in the great newsrooms of America. As evidence that we evangelicals can be responsible, fair and accurate reporters of events we should be purposeful in the integration of evangelical journalists into the general journalism culture. Once again, our role model for integration: The AEJMC (Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication) conventions have recently hosted multi-hour workshops sponsored by the Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender Interest Group entitled, “From the Headlines to the Classroom: How to Integrate Sexual Orientation Issues Across Curriculum.” More power to them. It is time evangelicals sponsored similar workshops for the hundreds of evangelical journalism students.