Many Christians approach secular journalism with trepidation. After all, many Christians associate secular journalism with hatefulness, untruthfulness, and biased reporting; although these sentiments have existed for decades, the election has made them more noticeable. Furthermore, because religious publications publish most Christian journalism, little information about the true relationship between Christian journalists and the secular media exists.
However, my personal experiences may “shed some light” upon the problem: as a follower of Christ and a writer for The Collegian, I have discovered that Christian journalists in the secular media have a difficult job. Although I have not been assigned articles that conflict with my beliefs, I have encountered stories online that break my heart or morally offend me; I have seen biased reporting where no bias should exist. I know that I will encounter opposition to my beliefs in the future. If I become a full-time journalist, I may even lose my job while defending my faith.
Nevertheless, Christians must be vigilant when writing for the secular media. For a Christian, journalism can be a morally ambiguous field. After all, Christian journalists must always tell the truth; they must report honest, unbiased facts, even if a news story conflicts with their values. Although they can (and perhaps should) criticize secular, un-Christian actions and ideas, they should seek out unbiased truths in investigative reporting. Nonetheless, criticizing sin makes people confront it; as Katie Nelson from Biola University writes, “Recognize that you have a unique responsibility to people who often would rather plug their ears. Be honest, be compassionate and do not be afraid to dig deep.”
All of this advice may be summed up in a simple exhortation: write truthfully, humbly, and justly, staying true to your values. In my opinion, this command may help Christian journalists thrive in a remarkably un-Christian field.
This article was written by Lauren Smith.