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So right here, in full public view, I have a new addiction to confess. I find it hard—maybe even impossible—to make it through the day without tuning in to The World and Everything in It. WORLD Radio’s daily program is WORLD Magazine’s radio cousin.
Technically, The World and Everything in It is not a radio program but a podcast. Which means that you can pick it up almost wherever you are, on your smartphone. And you can pick it up any time of day—at your own convenience.
But right about there, I exhaust my ability to answer questions about The World and Everything in It. I’ll lean instead on my longtime colleague Nick Eicher, chief content officer for WORLD, who has pioneered this remarkable effort and assembled a gifted team of news professionals.
‘[Many people] listen to "The World and Everything in It" when they’re driving to work or running errands, when they’re making breakfast or handling chores.’
BELZ: What prompted you to think WORLD Magazine readers might be looking for—or at least open to—still another sort of package for each day’s news?
EICHER: Probably just the nature of the daily routine. We’re busy, we have active minds, and we’re creatures of habit. Over the years, WORLD members have told us two big things: they devour books and they devour news every day. They’re also very much on the move, and The World and Everything in It is for the times when you’re just not able to sit down and read, but still want to think about important things.
How would you say The World and Everything in It fills in the spaces between the two-week cycles of WORLD’s paper-and-ink magazine?
One way is that we prepare a program for weekday mornings, so it’s immediate. We’re on every day. You might say we produce 260 “issues” a year.
But it’s so different from print, not really like a daily newspaper.
You’re right. Radio’s a highly personal, intimate medium. The way God designed us, I think of the human voice as unique as a fingerprint. You come to know the people in a very real way. Because radio podcasts go with you, they’re very much a companion. A lot of people tell me they listen when they’re driving to work or running errands, when they’re making breakfast or handling chores. The voices you hear when you’re doing those things—they become, in a way, like trusted friends.
Of all the names I’ve come to know from WORLD, is there overlap in The World and Everything in It?
We have some exclusive-to-the-radio names, but we also draw on the expertise of our magazine and digital journalists: Susan Olasky, Mindy Belz, Jill Nelson, Jamie Dean, and Megan Basham are regulars on the program. They report differently on radio than they do in print, and they present different angles on stories. They’re all so well-read, such experienced journalists, that they can report on virtually anything. And they do. Mindy, for example, just returned from a trip overseas, and we were able to get her on the air right away, long before she can produce a print piece. And I know our members will be happy to hear about one more regular on the program: you.
So how much more does it cost a member to get the podcast?
It’s included in a WORLD membership. Not a penny more.
And if I’m a bit of a technical klutz, how hard is it for me to hear a sample of The World and Everything in It ?
Honestly, not easy enough. We have an app for Apple and Android. But we’re going back to the drawing board, because technology has changed and we can build a more robust app. Meantime, we’ve made it widely available anywhere you get your podcasts: Overcast, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, all the popularly used players.
But I know what you’re driving at: Although the popularity of podcasts is exploding, plenty of people have still never tried one. For iPhone owners, it’s fairly intuitive. Open the built-in Podcasts app, hit the search icon, type in “the world and everything in it,” and you’ll find us. Or just go to the wng.org website and listen there.
I wish every WORLD member could meet our board chairman, John Weiss. When he meets someone who doesn’t listen to The World and Everything in It, he says, “Hand me your phone and I’ll set it up for you. Just listen every day for a week, and you’ll never want to miss another.”
He’s right. That’s my story!