The Christian Editor’s Creed

WGN FEATURE

by J. Randal Matheny

These ten commandments for the editor of Christian publications attempt to express something of the ethic that we work by here at WGN. Others who work with Biblical and Christian magazines, periodicals, journals and bulletins may find them of some use as well.

Suggestions to improving this list are welcome. Obviously, calling them a “creed” and “ten commandments” is tongue in cheek.

  1. I will never publish an article, story, study or poem without the author’s name, unless I know the author and he requests it. “Anonymous” and “Author Unknown” have no place in my space. Honor to whom honor is due!
  2. I will check and recheck facts, names, numbers and Biblical citations. Errors may get past me, but not without a fight.
  3. I will publish corrections and retractions when errors and mistakes are pointed out. I will not let pride stand in the way of truth.
  4. I will be kind and impartial, giving the benefit of the doubt without being naive. I will ask the hard questions in the interest of truth while respecting the humanity of every person.
  5. I will not let bullies run (and ruin) my work. I will not be cowed by mudslingers, nor swayed by intimidation. Nor will I be bought by offers of filthy lucre or promises of promotion.
  6. I will weigh every criticism with a view to improving my work and my editorial ethic.
  7. I will respond promptly to communications, letters and emails, whether they be praise, criticism or requests for information. A few troublemakers may get ignored.
  8. I will respect the privacy of personal communication and the rights of the individual, while seeking to fulfill my task to inform readers, point out dangers and reveal what should be made known.
  9. I will attend to the needs and interests of my readers, without pandering to their baser tastes or appealing to their biases.
  10. I will take myself with a grain of salt, not consider self indispensable, not care for credit, but enjoy my work and gift and be glad to give glory to the great Revealer who edited out my sins and left me with a perfect edition.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

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