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WORLD's response to the EPA ad hoc committee's report

The editor of WORLD magazine responds to the EPA ad hoc committee report

We at WORLD believe that the ad hoc committee members erred by implicitly setting up new requirements for EPA membership, by making recommendations that would suppress competition among publications, and by trying to push their own journalistic and ideological values under a guise of judicious ethical examination.

The committee dodged the central question: Was WORLD telling the truth about the changing of the NIV? Instead, the committee said that WORLD fell seriously short of upholding the EPA ethics code, for the following reasons:

1) WORLD's reporting was "one-sided and dismissive of responsible alternatives." Exactly. We do not believe that misquoting God is a responsible alternative. We believe that changing God's words is an activity that the Bible itself condemns, and that Christians should oppose. We do not believe that EPA membership dictates that we must consider "responsible" what we believe to be biblically irresponsible.

2) WORLD's reporting represented "a blatant appeal to anti-feminist sentiment." We believe that the Bible teaches that women should not be ministers, and that husbands and fathers should have headship within their families. This is not a politically correct position, but we do not believe that EPA membership requires allegiance to some contemporary trends.

3) WORLD's "use of terms such as 'feminist seduction,' 'unisex language,' and 'stealth Bible' detract from a reasoned discussion of an important issue." On the contrary, we believe that those terms add to a reasoned discussion because they spotlight the problem. If "reasoned discussion" means the assumption that there are a variety of valid positions on the issue of quoting God accurately, we reject that. We do not believe that EPA membership means submitting to some unwritten style sheet, or submitting to the judgment of academic panels concerning the nature of a "reasoned discussion."

4) WORLD published what "appears to be a news report, yet techniques of commentary are evident," and this combination is not "reporting." We (and many others) do not accept the view that reporting and commentary must remain separate. We do not believe that EPA membership requires such a view of journalism.

5) WORLD is guilty of "resorting to tactics that would be unacceptable to most other EPA editors and editorial boards." Whether or not this is true, it is irrelevant; WORLD has never attacked other EPA members for resorting to tactics that we find unacceptable. We believe in competition among publications, and we do not believe that EPA membership requires submitting WORLD's editorial policy to the vote of other editors.

6) WORLD should "publish a full account, with equal prominence, of the position taken by Zondervan and IBS...." Is it within the province of the EPA to tell members what they should publish?

If the EPA board does not repudiate the findings of the ad hoc committee, then we have obviously been mistaken in our understanding of what EPA membership entails, and we are no longer able, in good conscience, to be a member of the EPA.

Marvin Olasky

Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD and dean of World Journalism Institute. He joined WORLD in 1992 and has also been a university professor and provost. He has written more than 20 books, including Reforming Journalism. Marvin resides with his wife, Susan, in Austin, Texas. Follow him on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.