Every day our media sources report the latest crisis. Lately, the stories have focused on the violence of war, hate crimes, and people escaping violence, refugees. As Christians telling the story, we have an ethical mandate to be honest and impartial. In June, 50 journalists from ten countries gathered in Chicago for the second Crisis Publishing Initiative (CPI) to address reporting responsibility in crises.
The conference was organized by the Magazine Training Institute (MTI) in partnership with the Evangelical Press Association (EPA). MTI is a global ministry supporting journalists with training and resources that I have long been associated with when our Lydia’s House team launched a magazine for women. Partnership is critical and I did not attend alone. Amanda White attended representing our Vanguard Journalism work.
Carla Foote, an MTI board member, summed up the conference by saying:
Context for crisis and a framework for handling truth with a global perspective was offered in plenary sessions led by internationally-recognized experts, including Dr. Miriam Adeney, professor at Seattle Pacific University; Dr. Sam George, faculty member and director of the Global Diaspora Institute at Wheaton College; Dr. Sandra Morgan, director of Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice (GCWJ); and Julia Bicknell, Co-Founder of World Watch Monitor in the U.K.
Twenty-one speakers offered expertise and experience that brought clarity and caution to many of the things we see in our daily media. Of particular concern for me as the director of GCWJ, was the growing evidence of the intersection of faith and sex in reports of persecution. Being a Christian may place a person at risk in their communities but being a Christian and female will intensify the risks. This intersection is an area that our Research in Women’s Studies class will have the opportunity to explore in more depth as our new CPI connections offer access for interviews and focus groups.
Serving as a subject matter expert to fifty journalists is an astounding opportunity. Imagine ripping open a feather pillow on a mountainside and watching the feathers taken by the wind. My prayer is that the wind of the Holy Spirit will take my words and multiply them as our global Christian community seeks justice for those being crushed (Prov. 31:8b NLT)