Ask the Editor: Our methods

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Friday, November 2nd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Once a month, we devote time to answer common questions about how and why we do things the way we do. Managing editor J.C. Derrick is here to explain our methods.

J.C. DERRICK, MANAGING EDITOR: We get a wide range of questions about our process and content here at WORLD Radio.

Some of them are easy—like, “How do you get your transcripts posted so quickly?” The answer is that we mostly use an automated transcription service at It turns audio files into transcripts in minutes. Then Kristen Flavin corrects, formats, and posts them to our site,

Other questions are a little harder. One listener recently wanted to know why we didn’t put a disclaimer after an interview, saying it did not represent the views of WORLD.  

Well, that would mean putting disclaimers on a lot of segments. Our job as reporters is to bring you the news. And our commitment is to do that from a Biblical worldview.

In a commentary last year, WORLD Editor in Chief Marvin Olasky talked about one of the ways we do that: We use a whitewater rapids metaphor to classify news stories.

A Class 1 rapids is something clearly spelled out in the Bible—such as the value of human life, or the sinfulness of adultery and murder.

Classes 2 through 5 offer varying degrees of Biblical clarity. And at the other end of the spectrum, a Class 6 is a story without scriptural guidance. Specific trade deals, for example.

“But wait!” I can hear regular listeners saying. Didn’t Cal Thomas just last month take a position on the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal?

Well, yes, he did. And that brings us to an important point. We’re journalists, not activists, so most of our segments are not meant to express an editorial position. But this is especially true for commentaries.

Our commentators may or may not be articulating WORLD’s editorial position. And they’re certainly not representing the views of every member of the staff. It is that person’s opinion, hopefully presented in a way that will make you think—whether or not you agree.

In many ways our team is a microcosm of the body of Christ. We hold differing views on baptism, Calvinism, and, yes, politics.

There’s no Biblical mandate to support the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement. But there’s no mandate to oppose it, either. Faithful Christians can disagree.

What unites our staff is faith in Christ—as defined in the Nicene Creed—and journalism guided by God’s inerrant Word.

That brings us to story selection and program structure. You may have noticed we have four segments: The newscast, news features, soft features, and commentary.

But how do we decide what to cover? Once again, Marvin has designed a helpful system for us—an acronym we call LEAPFOR.

L stands for life.

E stands for education.

A stands for the arts.

P stands for poverty.

F stands for family—including human sexuality.

O stands for origins—meaning how the world came into being.

R stands for religious freedom.

You could add religion and race relations as two additional Rs. These are all issues where the Biblical worldview has huge implications for believers. That’s why we emphasize them.

We don’t get every decision right, but we use these tools to accomplish our mission: Biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

For WORLD Radio, I’m J.C. Derrick.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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