Journalism is a noble calling. The working journalist is to report, write, and explain in accordance with the highest standards of the profession.
The Christian, of all people, should be committed to the written word, because God has revealed himself by the written word.
Clarity, brevity, and veracity are goals toward which the journalist should strive. The journalist of faith should write articulate, rich, penetrating, and complete stories that go below the surface. The journalist of faith should exhibit humility, adaptability, quickness of foot, perseverance, and aggressiveness in getting the story.
McCandlish Phillips has written, "The irreducible, elementary, primary, essential requirement of news is that it be factually accurate. The journalist who is a Christian will be as accurate and balanced and fair and faithful to facts as possible. That journalist will not lie, will not distort, will not make things up, and will not embroider the story for effect or state it out of balance."
Factual accuracy in news reporting, undiminished and undistorted by attitudes and outlooks, is the bedrock of the trade. When reporters and editors get that right, they serve the public honorably and well, and are worthy of respect from their readers and colleagues.
It is to the end of equipping journalists of faith to embody these goals that the McCandlish Phillips Chair of Mentoring is established.
John McCandlish Phillips
John McCandlish Phillips
1927 - 2013
John McCandlish Phillips died today, Tuesday, April 9, 2013 in a Manhattan hospital. Mr. Phillips was a long-time teacher and mentor for the World Journalism Institute. Poor health in recent years curtailed his involvement with our New York program but he was an enthusiastic encouragement to us to the very end. John McCandlish Phillips was a former reporter for the New York Times (1955-1973) and a co-founder of the New Testament Missionary Fellowship Church (Westchester, N.Y. and NYC). Gay Talese, author and former Timesman, is quoted as stating, "McCandlish was the Ted Williams of the young reporters. He was a natural. There was only one guy I thought I was not the equal of, and that was McCandlish Phillips." The New Yorker has called McCandlish Phillips "legendary," "brilliant," "much talented," and "more interested in the truth and texture of a story than in scoring a scoop." Ken Auletta has written of Mr. Phillips, "Among the outstanding journalists who worked in the Times newsroom in those days - Gay Talese, David Halberstam, Gloria Emerson, J. Anthony Lukas, Richard Reeves - Phillips was widely thought to be the most gifted writer." McCandlish Phillips is the author of City Notebook and The Bible, the Supernatural and the Jews. He is the author of the popular free WJI monograph "Faith in the Daily News Chase." The institute created a John McCandlish Chair of Journalism years ago and invited distinguished journalism teachers and professionals to occupy the chair for a year.
Michael Longinow is chair of the Department of Journalism at Biola University, and was the 2009 McCandlish Phillips Chairholder at the World Journalism Institute.
Dr. Michael R. Smith was the 2011 WJI John McCandlish Phillips Scholar. He also teaches journalism at Campbell University.