Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing

Open their eyes

Award-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof said, “My take is that I have almost no impact when I write about a topic that people have already thought about."

“Where journalism has by far the greatest impact isn’t in persuading people, but in helping put issues on the agenda,” he added in an interview. “In effect, we journalists have a spotlight, and it has the greatest impact when we shine it on problems that are not illuminated, that no one is thinking of.

“I do think that my columns, for example, have had some impact in calling more attention to the horrors of Darfur, Congo, sex trafficking, and maternal mortality, and in making a difference on the ground.”

Put another way, Kristof writes to open our eyes to problems and situations we have either missed, ignored or neglected. For instance, “Eastern Congo is the least-covered war ever in my lifetime…there have been about 5 million deaths, making it the most lethal conflict since World War II. So how can I write even less about it?”

If you missed his on-site reporting from Congo earlier this year, I encourage you to at least read this sobering piece.

Seeing Kristof’s comments, I wonder: What are we Christian writers and publishers doing to open readers’ eyes? Are we content to write about the same old topics that our readers already know and agree with? Or, do we venture out into the hurt and heat--shining Light in the dark corners of the world and human heart?

Notice Jesus’ words to Saul on the Damascus road, “Now get up and stand on your feet….I am sending you to them to open their eyes, and turn them from darkness to light.”

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