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Joel BelzVoices Joel Belz

Big plans

WORLD News Group has major projects in the works for 2020

Big plans

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If I’ve heard the question once, I’ve heard it a hundred times: “Joel, of all the projects you’ve got going at WORLD, which one most deserves my financial help?” It’s almost like hearing, “Of your five daughters, which has given you your favorite grandchildren?”

The truth is that—just as I delight in all my grandchildren—all three of our divisions are undertaking major projects that will need member support. If it weren’t for your support along the way, we couldn’t even consider these projects, let alone start them. 

Now, we need you to help us get them completed.

God’s World News, our news division for students, has helped millions of elementary and secondary students relate the truth of the Bible to world news. Parents often tell us that they remember reading God’s World News magazines when they were kids. Now they encourage their children (and grandchildren!) to explore our content to understand current events in light of a Biblical perspective. But today, young people are exposed and accustomed to so much more media than ever before.

That’s why in 2020 we are launching WORLD Watch, a daily 10-minute video newscast during the school day designed expressly for middle and high schoolers in traditional Christian schools and homeschools. Students are more than ever soaking up life-shaping information through video. WORLD Watch aims to use that powerful medium to foster the same skills and habits of discernment and Biblical critical thinking that have always applied to reading.

Today, young people are exposed and accustomed to so much more media than ever before.

As we create this daily video newscast, we will ask: “Does this story help children discover God’s amazing world? Do these current events explain how God is at work? Will these news issues help nudge students toward a habit of Biblical critical thinking and discernment?” 

We want our answers always to be yes, yes, yes.

WORLD Watch is scheduled to go into full production at the beginning of the next school year in August, and we’ve got a lot of work to do before then.

Our WORLD division publishes the magazine you are holding, publishes daily news for your digital consumption, and produces three podcasts you should be familiar with already: The World and Everything in It, our 30-minute daily news program; The Olasky Interview, a seasonal program of interviews conducted by Marvin Olasky; and Listening In, a weekly interview program. 

We’ve got big plans for WORLD in the new year. We plan to launch a 12-episode “season” of an all-new podcast, Effective Compassion, that will tell the stories of organizations fighting poverty in a way that is challenging, personal, and spiritual. This first season will explore the history and theological foundation of effective poverty fighting and the true meaning of the often-misunderstood word compassion. Later in the year we hope to roll out an additional podcast or two—stay tuned to see what shape those take.

You should also be looking for a newly redesigned WORLD Magazine hitting your mailbox next month. I’ve heard that it will be bigger (in terms of pages), brighter, and more readable. Sounds great!

Finally, there’s World Journalism Institute, which offers intensive training for aspiring journalists. Many of our WJI alumni work at WORLD and, importantly, at mainstream news organizations, where they are often the only Christian presence in their newsrooms. 

Along with the increasing number of journalists we’ve been able to train domestically, we have just completed our second year of training journalists in China, thanks to your support. This small-scale effort barely scratches the surface of the need there, but it’s a start. It’s something we hope to continue, as resources are available. 

Perhaps you’ll have one of these specific projects in mind as you consider giving to WORLD this year. Perhaps you will say, as so many of our donors do, “Just do more of what you’re doing.” 

May I strongly urge you to make a gift in support of our work? Gifts of $25, $50, and $100 will help lay a solid foundation. And, as I do every year, I’m looking also for a handful of folks who will commit to $5,000 each year for the next three years. WORLD’s mission is that important! I hope you’ll share our urgency. You can make a gift online on our secure page at wng.org/donate.

Comments

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  • MD
    Posted: Mon, 12/30/2019 07:23 am

    As a Middle School teacher, I'm very happy about the prospect of World Watch! I would definitely use this in the classroom to help with my current events requirement. Right now, I use a couple secular video outlets, which are good, but I'd prefer something with a Biblical perspective.

  • rugbyman
    Posted: Mon, 12/30/2019 05:15 pm

    These are great. Thank you for the information. I love what you all do!
    One other question/addition I'd love to see is a World app! 
    Thank you for all you do.