Many Christians consider “the media” at large to be hostile toward their beliefs. So what’s it like to be a Christian journalist at a secular newspaper? How do you incorporate your faith into what you write?
Michael Luo, a reporter for the New York Times, provides insight into how his faith informs his profession and his witness.
Having become a Christian at Harvard University, he remembers how he was drawn to journalism.
I tried to sort out my career plans with a kingdom perspective. For me, an influential verse has been, “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Journalism was a career in which I could pursue justice and mercy. Some people are drawn to journalism because of the words. I was more attracted to what the words could do.
So what’s it like to be a Christian journalist? Luo says that his faith gives him a different angle when writing stories and helps him build relationships and rapport with people. He says,
Most important, though, my faith has animated why I do what I do. Believing I could make a difference has driven the stories and beats I’ve sought, whether a story about three poor black, mentally handicapped people imprisoned in Alabama for killing a baby who probably never existed [the story that eventually won the George Polk Award and Livingston Award for Young Journalists], or writing about the human impact of the economic recession, which I did for two years at The Times.
Located in a large city in the northeast, the Times is not exactly a hub of Christian journalists. For Luo, this means an opportunity to be a witness of his faith, not necessarily by writing for the religion column, nor by evangelizing to coworkers, “but simply being excellent at journalism, because that’s what God would want.”