WORLD’s mid-career course is fantastic! The course content is outstanding, but even more valuable is the opportunity to learn from one of the Christian world’s most experienced journalists and editors. I gained tremendous confidence through the–fearful–process of Olasky-led group edits. Watching clunky first drafts forged again and again into tight, bracing prose transformed my writing and inspired me to greater success as a writer. I was also impressed by the high-caliber students in the course, men and women who loved the Lord and were serious about improving their craft. Make every effort to attend this course - you won’t be disappointed!
I loved the classes and found the seminar to be very helpful. I especially enjoyed being able to critique each other's writing and do the line by line editing together. The hands-on experience was unbeatable.
I draw from what I learned at the mid-career course on a weekly basis. It was a practical exercise in how to think, write, and edit like a journalist. As a small class, we walked through each step of writing and were able to make mistakes, correct them, throw out ideas, and bounce questions off expert journalists. The mountain of journalism became a hill I could climb because of the mid-career course.
The mid-career writing course expanded my horizons: It taught me to write in new ways, for different audiences, and on topics that need attention from a Christian worldview. Sometimes a well-meaning amateur tries to coach your batting swing or tennis serve and ends up disrupting your natural rhythm so badly that you can’t even hit the ball! The mid-career writing course had an opposite effect: coaching by experienced writers sharpened my skills and led to opportunities that I had never anticipated.
My time at WJI showed me there shouldn’t be a distinction between my faith and my job. With each task we worked on under the real-life pressure of time constraints, I learned to apply “biblical objectivity” to every story. From mock press conferences on controversial issues to searching out the Christian values in a story, the program facilitators taught us to stand by God’s word in our writing while remaining unbiased. The program helped me become a better multimedia journalist who writes with my Christian faith as a guidebook as we worked with photography, video, and print journalism.
WJI is a wake-up call. I went into the program thinking I was a decent writer, but after one hour I knew I had a lot to learn. And the best part was, when it was all said and done, I gained knowledge I can take with me for the rest of my life. WJI is not a traditional classroom experience. You don't sit there and get lectured at or discuss what you read in a textbook. What you get, is an opportunity to write and to fail. Each day you have a professional journalist edit your stories line-by-line and talk with you through every detail. You learn by doing. And you learn by correcting your mistakes and breaking bad habits. At the end of the program you leave more refined in your craft and a renewed sense of what it means to be an effective journalist. The best part about WJI is the wealth of people that contribute to teaching the program. WORLD staff members and other professionals working in journalistic fields frequently come and share their advice and experiences. I loved having the opportunity to ask questions and get answers from someone who can give me a practical answer based on their experiences.
WJI became the keystone of my journalistic education and helped me "learn the ropes" probably more than an enclosed semester-long course could. This is probably due to the fact that while students do spend time in the classroom taking notes, a good bit of the program involves on-the-street reporting and discussion with working reporters (both from World and secular news networks) as they share their stories and advice. WJI flawlessly melds both the "doctrinal" backbone of journalism and practical experience in a way that gives a fledgling journalist--whether they are studying journalism in school or not--a head start on learning what its actually like to work in the field. WJI serves as a crucial launching pad for a multi-media career in this increasingly competitive field and, perhaps even more importantly, provides a framework for living out one's Christian worldview at a time when being a believing journalist has become even more difficult.