Preparing tomorrow’s generation of truth-tellers - The Echo News
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Preparing tomorrow’s generation of truth-tellers

Meet the Echo’s new faculty adviser

Photograph by Brad Timmerman

Photograph by Brad Timmerman

Dr. Alan Blanchard | Faculty Adviser

“Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple; who ever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?”

–  John Milton, Christian poet

It has been a blessing, an honor and a privilege to join the Communication Department of Taylor University this fall as associate professor of journalism and as faculty adviser of The Echo.

I look forward to investing in the lives of students, putting my experience — as a photojournalist, reporter, copy editor, columnist, editorial writer, editor, ad sales manager and publisher of commercial daily and weekly newspapers in California, New Mexico, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan — to work for them.

After a week of orientation and a week of classes, my initial impression of the students, faculty and staff at Taylor University has been a very positive one. The Taylor University community has extended a friendly and warm welcome to my wife, Helen, and I since our arrival in Upland from Grand Rapids, Michigan, in mid-August.

I am impressed by the student newspaper and by the academic quality of all of the programs offered within the Communication Department. The multimedia journalism major, which I’m especially excited to be working with, strives to provide a bedrock foundation of truth with a lowercase “t” and with an uppercase “T” as students are educated, mentored and trained in preparation for various fields of media.

Journalists the world over regard the searching out and reporting of truth as a guiding principle for communicating news stories and photos via print, broadcast and online media. Christian students, who possess the Truth via their relationship with their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, will be encouraged to diligently seek out truth in all of their journalistic endeavors.

Scripture can serve as a guide to Truth-/truth-seeking student journalists:

Timothy 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”

–    Proverbs 3:3 – “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.”

–    Proverbs 16:6 – “By loving kindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.”

–    Proverbs 23:23 – “Buy truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.”

–    2 Corinthians 13:8 – “For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth.”

–    Mark 4:21-22 – “And He said to them, Is the lamp brought in to be put under a peck measure, or under a bed, and not on the lampstand? Things are hidden (temporarily) only as a means to revelation. For there is nothing hidden except to be revealed, nor is anything (temporarily) kept secret except in order that it may be made known.”

At Taylor University, a significant hands-on opportunity to experience the challenges and rewards of reporting is found in the campus newspaper, The Echo.

Echo student journalists discover how to find story ideas, interview sources and report stories in an accurate, balanced, compassionate, fair, timely and truthful manner in this student newspaper, published on a weekly basis during the fall and spring semesters.

Regardless of the type of story assignment, the highest professional and ethical journalistic standards are met by The Echo’s student journalists. Students majoring and minoring in multimedia journalism at Taylor University also:

–  Learn how to apply unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, both in their personal and professional lives as journalists.

–  Explore how Christian journalists use their journalistic skills to do justice and practice mercy before God.

–  Explore how news organizations are involved with and help impact contemporary culture and politics.

–  Publish their stories in the campus newspaper, as well as write for local, regional and national markets.

–  Develop a biblical view of the role of a Christian journalist in society and how these principles apply working for Christian and non-Christian publications.

–  Understand the historical foundations of journalism and how they shape contemporary journalistic practice.

–  Understand and apply basic principles of print news media layout and design.

–  Understand the major principles of media law that apply to print journalism.

–  Develop and apply a biblical standard of journalistic ethics and a strong commitment to journalistic integrity.

–  Develop the skill, maturity, prudence and professionalism to assimilate smoothly into a wide variety of news media organizations.

Students will be encouraged to hone these attributes of a good journalist:

–  Curiosity — ask what makes things happen and why.

–  Critical thinking — learn when not to take things at face value and when to keep searching for the truth; i.e., when Nathan confronted King David about having Bathsheba’s husband killed in battle or The Washington Post’s investigative reporting into Watergate.

–  Compassion — remembering to look for themes of redemption, forgiveness and repentance in various story situations.

When students have completed their degree, they should have:

–  Well-honed communication skills

–  The ability to continue to develop personally and professionally after graduation

–  Entry level skills for employment in a journalism career field

–  Industry contacts and experience

–  A workable worldview which unifies your life’s work and your Christian faith

–  Christ-like attitudes and habits

I look forward to the iron-sharpening-iron experience of teaching and learning from my students, my colleagues and others within the community of Taylor University.

Onward and upward for His glory!

Alan Blanchard, Ph.D., associate professor of journalism in the Communication Department at Taylor University, advises The Echo and serves as a representative of the Pulliam Journalism Fellowship. He has more than 25 years’ experience as a newspaper editor and publisher, newspaper owner, and comes to Taylor from Cornerstone University, where he was initially director of marketing and media relations, and later director of and professor within the journalism program there. – alan_blanchard@taylor.edu

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