Having just completed her first year as an English and Music major at Redeemer, Anna Bailey is a student who holds her future with open hands, ready to learn, explore and follow where God leads. This summer that meant attending the World Journalism Institute (WJI), a two-week intensive course where students learn and practice the skills of multimedia journalism — writing, editing and producing content as a Christian for faith-based or secular organizations.
“When I headed to Iowa, I was intimidated. I had no journalism experience, so I hadn’t expected to get into the program. As usual, God knew better than I did. I loved it!”
From May 17 to June 2, she was coached by professional mentors and speakers. Alongside 28 other students from 18 states and three countries chosen to participate in the program, Bailey drafted print stories, recorded radio spots, took photos and filmed video reports. Hosted at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, WJI students are provided with housing, meals and instruction, all on-site at the college. The program, sponsored by WORLD magazine, is offered at no cost to students. The institute aims to recruit, equip and place journalists who are Christians in newsrooms.
“When I headed to Iowa, I was intimidated,” Bailey confessed. “I had no journalism experience, so I hadn’t expected to get into the program. As usual, God knew better than I did. I loved it. I learned from some amazing journalists and got practical experience alongside fun, dedicated students. I’d always thought of journalism as hard or boring news focused mostly on politics, crime and disaster. However, I learned that journalism is storytelling — true stories, stories that are a part of God’s grand story. Faith was integrated into the teaching at WJI as we talked about journalism ethics, honesty, accuracy, seeing sources as people, delighting in good news, wonder and more. We also talked about the importance of journalism that gives a voice to the voiceless, holds the powerful accountable and also holds Christian organizations and communities accountable.”
Returning to Redeemer this fall, Bailey will begin her second year of study with a fresh perspective on writing and journalism. While still holding her plans loosely, Bailey credits her time at the World Journalism Institute with giving her clarity for the future. “I’ve never liked the question, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’” she explained. “I’m still not sure I plan on growing up — I caught myself putting shower curtains in the dryer yesterday. Again. However, I do hope to pursue journalism when I graduate and, in the meantime, I’m excited to be one of the reporters for The Crown this coming year.”