“God’s Objective Truth, As Far As We Know It”: Journalism Ideology At An Evangelical News Magazine


  • David A. Ferman Texas Wesleyan University




Ideology has been a major topic of journalism research for the past several decades. This ethnographic study looks at the underlying ideology of a major evangelical publication, the bimonthly WORLD magazine. Thirteen staff members were interviewed, and a year’s worth of content was analyzed, to find the overarching beliefs that inform the magazine’s reporters and editors, and the work that they produce. The results indicate that the journalists’ ideology can be organized into seven major themes, and that the journalists see themselves as humbly doing God’s work while being persecuted in a largely secular, liberal society as part of the “culture wars” in American life. At the same time, the journalists were found to only loosely apply the “biblical objectivity” concept that the magazine’s editor, Dr. Marvin Olasky, considers so essential to evangelical journalism. This study provides unique and previously unavailable information on several topics within the study of journalism, newsroom ideology, and evangelical Americans, and represents the first study of evangelical Christian journalists to combine interviews with textual analysis to look at the ideology that shapes their perspectives, motivations, and routines, and the content they produce.


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