Ask the Editor – Accessing WORLD’s on-ramp

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, September 4th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. Here now is WORLD editor in chief Marvin Olasky with this month’s edition of Ask the Editor.

MARVIN OLASKY, EDITOR IN CHIEF: About every other week a reader asks: Is there an on-ramp to write or podcast for WORLD? The answer every year is yes: 56 WORLD writers and editors have gone through a World Journalism Institute course. 

This time, though, the answer has a new wrinkle. Usually my wife Susan and I do our annual training of mid-career people in our living room in Austin, Texas. In January, though, we plan to do it at a distance, by Zoom or Google Groups. That’s because our COVID-19 nightmare is unlikely to be over by then. So I’m putting out an electronic welcome mat for people from age 30 to age 70 who could not spend a week in Austin but might be able to take the course this way. 

Should you be one of them? Probably not. First, the course is intense, going from 9 to 5 for 5 ½ days, plus some evening homework. During the course of the week students will write and rewrite an obituary, a profile, a review, a website story, part of a feature story, and a proposal for a WORLD notebook story. 

Probably not for a second reason: The course emphasizes news reporting and feature writing for print and radio—not devotionals, exegetical essays, memoirs, fiction, or poetry. It is for those willing to learn about pavement-pounding, phone-calling, document-reading reporting, and about writing with strong verbs and nouns in the active voice.

Probably not for a third reason: You need to be a good writer but also a humble one. If every word you write is precious to you, you will not be happy in this class. And, I should emphasize that it’s a mid-career course: If you’re a college student or recent graduate, you should apply to our two-week course in May.

With all those caveats, might you still want to apply? Sure, if God has given you talent and the desire to report on news within your metropolitan area or field of expertise. Tuition is free. The course goes from January 7 to January 13, with Sunday in the middle as a much-needed day of rest. I’m accepting applications from today through the end of November: I posted more information on WORLD’s website as part of our Saturday series, and also at You’ll also see there information on how to apply. I’m looking forward to meeting a few of you electronically.   

I’m Marvin Olasky.

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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