By Bobby Ross Jr. | Religion Unplugged
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Jon Ward, chief national correspondent for Yahoo! News, writes in an essay for Christianity Today that his profession has made him a better Christian.
Ward knows many of his fellow Christians may find that hard to believe:
Conservative Christians are far more hostile toward the media now than they were when I was growing up. Some of my own family members have told me I should be ashamed of myself for doing my job. In fact, most people don’t like the media — and that’s bad for society. The media shares some of the blame for that, as I’ve written recently for Yahoo! News.
But he explains the profession’s role in his own life:
Journalism has empowered many of the most noble, the most Christian elements of my character. I have been discipled for two decades in how to discern what is true and false, and — probably more importantly — how to discern when there are no easy answers or solutions. I have been trained in pursuing truth without regard to whom it offends.
I have also been given a sense of humility about what we can know for sure and how often we need to acknowledge that our point of view is limited and incomplete. This is sometimes called “epistemological modesty,” and it is a quality that we badly need more of in our discourse.
Hey dude, you’re preaching to the choir.
Seriously, I authored a recent Christian Chronicle editorial that focused on the faith of one of my journalistic heroes: Jerry Mitchell, a Mississippi investigative reporter whose stories helped put four Klansmen and a serial killer behind bars.
From that editorial:
Mitchell recalled that a radio show host asked him once, “How can you be a Christian and a journalist?”
He was ready with a response.
“We’re actually both truth-seekers,” Mitchell told the Chronicle’s staff and board. “The thing about God’s word is, it doesn’t pull any punches. You get to see what Moses did, and you get to see what David did. And I think that’s kind of how I see journalism.
“We just kind of tell it like it is,” he explained. “We certainly do it out of love. We don’t do it out of spite or anything like that.”
Regular Weekend Plug-in readers may recall my 2020 take on the gap between the news media and people of faith. It’s still relevant.
This column appears in the online magazine Religion Unplugged.
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