The author, Orphans & Vulnerable Children major Jude Tepper, is the 2nd place winner & recipient of a $100 cash prize for winning 1st place in the Lorene Blanchard Essay Contest held at Taylor University in spring semester 2022. The column by Violet Hammack, Professional Writing major, who won 3rd place, will appear in a later Echo edition. The Pulliam Journalism Center essay contest was sponsored by Associate Professor of Journalism Alan Blanchard & Helen Blanchard. Entries were judged by professional journalists – Editor.
In a world full of events ranging from pure evil to the goodness of God, there are many stories to tell and should be by the best qualified to tell those stories. There are many journalists who seek to tell the truth while there are many others who distort the truth. The need for more journalists who have the intention of telling stories truthfully is high.
Christians are called to be tellers of the truth and most Christians push to be just that. Christians should consider working as a journalist where the demand for truth-telling is high. While there are plenty of non-Christian journalists who do share the truth, there can never be enough.
The main source of truth for Christians is the Bible and the message the Bible teaches. During an interview, Russell Pulliam said, “I prayed that the Lord would bring the Bible to every story I wrote.” This is a good mindset for any Christian to have but especially those in the journalist field who want to impact the world with their stories in more ways than one.
With that prayer Pulliam went on to be a successful journalist and writer for the Indianapolis Star who is still impacting the field of journalism to this day. Christians have the potential to have impacts bigger than they could ever have expected in the journalism field.
I believe there should be more Christians with hearts directed toward journalism to show the world how it truly is. Breann Boswell, a former WANE 15 news reporter, said, “As a journalist we are to share the facts, whether or not we agree with them. I have learned to share the facts but it's the people that I can have the most impact on. I interact with unbelievers daily and it's the relationships I build with others that means the most.”
It is hard to be unbiased and Christians have high moral standards that may make it difficult to share stories that may be against our ideology. But if we do so in a way where we try to focus on the people, we are impacting it can be easier. This could be the people reading the stories or co-workers.
It is important to stand out and have people asking, “What makes you different?” This is when Christians have the chance to share their faith with co-workers and be a light to those around them. This could influence others in the journalism field to be more of a light themselves whether they are Christian or not.
One of the hardest parts of working in the news field for Boswell is some of the people she works with. She said, “There are such few believers in the newsroom, it is difficult to relate to and understand the reasoning behind why people do the things they do.” This is why there needs to be more of a Christian influence in the journalist field.
There are multitudes of stories to tell with many different approaches that can be taken. If there are more Christians telling these stories, they can find ways to relate them to biblical teachings. Christians have the power to tell the stories that non-Christians would not and could seek stories out to impact people's views of the world and bring light to any issues they may see.
This is what I hope to do with my future. I want to spread stories about the truth of the world and the difficulties people face. I want my words to tell stories others would not and I want my photographs to tell stories words cannot.
When I read news stories, I hardly ever read about Christian organizations working hard to make a difference in the world or issues with vulnerable kids around the world. This is my calling and where I hope to make a difference. There is a lack of journalists whose hearts are set towards the stories that people would not think about daily.
I hope to encourage other Christians to consider the impact they could leave on the world through journalism. God can show the truth through any person and any form. Let the truth be told through every word, picture, video, and story you tell.
Jude Tepper is an Orphans & Vulnerable Children major and a Multimedia Journalism minor at Taylor University and a former staff photographer for The Echo – email@example.com