News, Current Events, and Biblically-Objective Journalism (with Nick Eicher and Brian Basham from WORLD)

How do you study current events in your homeschool? How do you teach your students to listen to the news with discernment? And how ought we as Christians approach these sometimes tricky topics? In today’s episode of the Homeschool Conversations podcast I’m joined by Nick Eicher and Brian Basham from WORLD. It was an absolutely fabulous conversation ranging from profound questions about Biblically-objective journalism to some behind-the-scenes insights into the silly moments in WORLD Watch videos. This is an episode you will not want to miss!

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world news in your homeschool, current events, Nick Eicher and Brian Basham, WORLD Watch, WORLD radio

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Who is Nick Eicher?

Nick Eicher is chief content officer of WORLD and has worked with the current-events organization in various roles for 30 years. In that capacity, he serves as executive producer of WORLD Radio and co-host of its daily news podcast The World and Everything in It. He’s been married for 33 years to his wife, Arla, and they have five children as well as two granddaughters. They live in St. Louis.

Who is Brian Basham?

Brian Basham is the host and program director of WORLD Watch. He got his start broadcasting 15 years ago at the NBC affiliate in El Paso, TX, and has made stops along the way as a meteorologist and news anchor in Tucson, AZ and Memphis, TN. Brian comes to WORLD Watch most recently from Charlotte, NC where he anchored the morning show on WCCB-TV. He has been married to his wife Megan for 18 years and has two daughters, Brighton and Shelby.  

Listen to my interview with Nick Eicher and Brian Basham from WORLD

https://youtu.be/A6AbQKOEtHY

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Amy: Hello friends. I’m so glad that you have joined us today. I am joined by not one but two special guests. Today on Homeschool Conversations, we have Nick Eicher and Brian Basham.

Nick Eicher is chief content officer of WORLD and has worked with the current-events organization in various roles for 30 years. In that capacity, he serves as executive producer of WORLD Radio and co-host of its daily news podcast The World and Everything in It. He’s been married for 33 years to his wife, Arla, and they have five children as well as two granddaughters. They live in St. Louis.

Brian Basham is the host and program director of WORLD Watch. He got his start broadcasting 15 years ago at the NBC affiliate in El Paso, TX, and has made stops along the way as a meteorologist and news anchor in Tucson, AZ and Memphis, TN. Brian comes to WORLD Watch most recently from Charlotte, NC where he anchored the morning show on WCCB-TV. He has been married to his wife Megan for 18 years and has two daughters, Brighton and Shelby.  

Thank you to both of you for taking the time to chat with us today.

Brian Basham: My pleasure.

Nick Eicher: It’s absolutely great to be with you.

Why did you become a journalist?

Amy: Well, first, I would just love to hear from both of you what initially drew you to journalism as a career and then how has your motivation for delivering the news changed over those years?

Brian: Nick, why don’t you go ahead and start?

Nick: Okay. Well, my funny answer is I couldn’t make it in hockey so I decided to go into journalism. To be honest and serious about it, I have just always loved news, Amy. I remember as a kid (and I’ll take you way back): I was four years old, the story is told to me.

I was four years old, my mother came into the room and she said, “Kennedy has been shot.” I said, “Mother, that happened before I was born.” I took it that she was referring to John F. Kennedy, and not Robert F. Kennedy, which is what she was referring to.

This is evidence of my interest in news from a very early age. I just was always interested in this stuff and we talked about it. I come from a larger family of people who have been involved in law and politics and so it was just a thing that was genetic, I guess and just conversations around family gatherings, very interesting to me. I’ve always been as far back as I can remember and before I remember, interested in news.

Amy: Brian, did you have such an early childhood affinity for news as well?

Brian: I didn’t. I didn’t know who Kennedy was until I was 28 so, no. I’m just kidding.

[laughter]

Nick: It’s a generational thing, man. I’m telling you.

Brian: [laughs] I’ve always been pretty fascinated with news, but I actually like history a lot and I looked at news and covering news as living history in the moment, if that makes sense. It’s happening right now and I’m just mixed up in it versus reading about it somewhere down the road, and so that’s a fun aspect of it.

Plus, I like people a lot and I think it’s a good way to meet and talk to a lot of interesting different people, and so it combines a couple of things pretty well. That’s the big things for me that I think go hand in hand.

Christians and the News: Informed or Idolatrous?

Amy: Well, I have to admit that sometimes learning about the news is something I’ve tended to avoid over the years. It can just feel stressful or overwhelming, but I know that’s not necessarily the wise answer, especially as a Christian. Why is it important for us as Christians to keep up with current events? How can we navigate that difference between being idolatrously obsessed with the news, and just wisely informed?

Nick: That’s an interesting question because when you think about idolatry versus just being an informed person, I guess I would say, given that there has been an election recently, and a lot of people got very excited about it, which is right. We’re Americans, and we participate in our system, but I think it becomes idolatry when you behave as though some event in the news has displaced the sovereign God from his throne.

That I think is the idolatry point. I think otherwise, though, we do serve a sovereign God. He is sovereign over all. Otherwise, I mean, sovereign has a very specific meaning. What we see played out in the world is we see God’s hand and so that’s I think why it’s wise to pay attention to what’s going on in the world because this is God working through his people, through his church. It behooves us as thinking Christians to be aware of what’s going on in the world.

Brian: Yes, and I mirror that. I mean, God has called us to be in the world not of the world obviously, and I think you have to understand what is happening in the world. I know it’s tempting as a Christian to put yourself in a little bubble and say, “You know what, I’m only associated with these people, and I’m only going to know these types of things.”

I think it’s easy for us to put ourselves in a bubble as Christians and really only talk to people that are same as us. And really that doesn’t extend to just Christians but whatever your bubble may be, I suppose. I think it’s important to have the news so that we understand what’s happening out there in the world so that when we go to address it and reach out to people for Christ, that we know what it is that they’re living and knowing or at least thinking about…

Anyway, I think it’s important for us to just really understand what’s happening in the world so that we can engage with it properly and know where to come at them with that. I think that’s hugely important.

On the flip side again, I think clearly, as this last four years has borne out, that people can also make an idol of it, as you mentioned, and that it becomes their one and only thing. My wife and I both live in this business and we talk about things a lot, what happens in the news and politics.

That note had hit home for me at one point when we were having a party at our house and we came in and our daughter was in the kitchen. At the time, she was probably nine, and she’s holding court, telling them how it is politically and all these adults and we’re like, “Stop it.” “No, we want to hear what she has to say.”

I think for us, we took it to a point where we’re maybe in it a little too much and so I can see how that can happen. I think it’s important to have a balance, but I do think you need to be engaged.

Amy: Yes, what I heard you say earlier almost has to do with loving our neighbors, understanding what’s going on in the world. How can we love our neighbors if we don’t even know what they’re thinking or what they’re experiencing?

world news in your homeschool, current events, Nick Eicher and Brian Basham, WORLD Watch, WORLD radio

Why study world news and current events with children?

Well, let’s take this from the big picture and focus a little bit more specifically on our children. I can maybe see, okay, we should be talking about current events, thinking about the news as adults, but what about for our children?

I’ll just give a little backstory. My own children and I were first introduced to WORLD Watch news back at the beginning of 2020, when you guys started releasing these little three-minute videos on YouTube and it just quickly became sommething we looked forward to every morning.

I have five children from five to 15 so it can be hard to find something that engages that wide age range. As soon as the full-length video came out, we were so excited to subscribe, and we just love it. We look forward to that every morning.

What was the motivation behind starting this new endeavor at WORLD, sort of big picture? Then why do you think it’s important for us to be discussing the news and current events at home with our children?

Nick: Well, let me begin by giving you a little answer to a trivia question, okay? If this ever comes up, since you go all the way back to WORLD Watch News in Three, what was the original name of WORLD Watch News in Three? You won’t know.

Amy: I don’t know.

Nick: But I will tell you.

Brian: I know!

Nick: It was WORLD Watch News in Two and we found that it was impossible to get anything of significance into two minutes so we said hey– As Nick and Brian, “Hey, man, why don’t we make this WORLD Watch News in Three, because I think we need a little extra time?”

I mean, it’s difficult to get all of that in a way to communicate something of importance. Kevin Martin, our CEO, came up with this idea. He has been wanting to do this for over a year and so his idea was to engage young people with a product such as this, which grew out of our radio podcast because we’re WORLD Magazine, so we’re printed word and we, of course, have a website like everybody does.

We moved from the printed word to the spoken word, and because we were showing capability of producing news content in a spoken word format, Kevin, our CEO said, “Let’s take it to the next level. It’s still spoken word but let’s try television.”

Of course, Brian mentioned his good wife, Megan, who’s been with WORLD for a very long time. We knew of Brian. Brian was on our radar screen for a long time, watching his career as he was moving around the country, and Megan stayed with us. Once we got serious about this, that’s when we started reaching out to Brian.

Brian: I will say too, in terms of why we say it’s important for kids to have it, for me, one of the biggest things is to create discernment in these kids. If you take somebody who’s not watched any news, and you put them at 20 years old in front of any news source, it doesn’t matter, and you have them watch that news, they would take everything that they said as plain truth. Factual truth, 100% truth.

What’s cool about doing this is most families who are watching this, some of the kids are watching it on their own, but most of them are watching it with their parents, if they’re homeschoolers, or with their teachers at school.

Now not only are they seeing the news that we’re delivering, now they’re talking about the news after the fact, and they’re creating discernment. They’re like, “Okay, what about that can we explore and think about?”

Now, you’re starting to think about how the news is being done and what’s being told to you, so that when you’re exposed to all these other news sources later down the road, now you’re able to think critically through what you’re hearing and go, “Is that actually true? Are they leaving stuff out? I need to go look here and here and here and here to see if that’s actually true what’s being said.” For us, that’s a pretty important thing that they get.

Amy: Yes, that’s so important. We talk about that [with our children]. You mentioned the relationship earlier of your love of history and news, and that’s something I think that applies across the subjects, across the things you’re discussing with your children.

We often tell our children, “The only thing you can 100% believe is the word of God.” If it’s not the word of God, then you should question and get more than one source and listen and think critically.

WORLD Watch news for homeschool

Behind the scenes with WORLD Watch News

My children would never forgive me if I didn’t ask a few behind the scenes questions. I just have a few questions to ask about the actual production of the show. There’s a WORLD Watch News episode every morning, Monday through Friday, for those who don’t know, and it’s about 10 minutes long. How long does it take to produce that episode?

Brian: It depends on the day. We’ll start working on a show, like for Monday show, we’re already thinking about some of the elements that we can put in Monday’s show today and maybe even on Tuesday, some of our featured stuff, we start building out ahead of time.

In a typical day, we would start our news meeting at eight o’clock in the morning. Then whatever we didn’t have feature-wise done, we send everybody out, we give everybody their assignments, and we send them out in that first part of the day for the first couple of hours.

Everybody spends some time, pulling all the video, doing the writing, and doing all that stuff. Then we’ll typically record elements of it anywhere from maybe 10:00 in the morning, all the way up till two, three o’clock in the afternoon. If it’s elections, it’s at 11 o’clock at night.

Then we hand it over to all our editors and then they take it from there and they put all the different pieces together. The project as a whole is– It could be done over any five-hour time in any given day. The whole project is really a day-long project. Every day’s newscast, it’s a full day’s product. Nick, if you want to expand on that at all.

Nick: Yes, I’m a bit of the numbers guy here and I can tell you that each one of these programs takes between 50 and 60 hours a day to get done.

Brian: That’s man hours.

Nick: We have to have more than just a few people involved in it. Yes, that’s about what it takes. For radio broadcasting, the general rule of thumb is that it takes about two hours per produced minute. For television, it takes around five or six, just because of the added layer of complexity.

Writing for television is a bit like producing a 3D puzzle because there are all of these different elements going on at the same time. You’re effectively describing events in real-time and you have to write it in a way that times with the video that you have and the sound that you have, and so on and so forth.

It’s a very complicated process and it takes a lot of people to carry different corners of this heavy thing to make sure that it gets across the finish line each night. We’ve got a team of about 15 people who are involved in this at different levels.

Amy: Within that team who is deciding what stories to include and what to feature? What criteria do you use to make those decisions?

Nick: You know what’s really interesting is we’ve got three or four people who work together really well. Brian, of course is one of them, I’m one of them and then Rich Bishop, who has been with– The only guy I think at WORLD who has been at WORLD longer than I have, who got his start as an illustrator for the children’s newspapers that we used to publish.

Amy: I got those when I was a kid.

Nick: Yes, great stuff. Then you know Rich Bishop’s work. He didn’t know anything about television, but he knows a lot about visual and he knows a lot about news. He’s really good at understanding the minds of younger people because he’s been in this business for a very long time.

He also has a very good journalistic sense, but then that added element which is the visual element has made him very, very good at what he does. Because I’ve worked with Rich for 30 years, we work really great together. Then bringing Brian in with his very specific expertise at communicating in front of a camera, this group is the leadership team because we’re the old guys with the gray hair.

We’ve got a lot of young people whom you see on camera, who have come through at various stages of our WORLD journalism institute program. They’re all very good journalists and they’re picking up the TV, essentially learning it from Brian as they go. That’s how we do it.

Amy: My five-year-old’s favorite part, I must say, is probably not the news. He always is just waiting for that final moment. He says, “What is the funny thing going to be today?” He will actually tell people, he will tell grandma, “Oh, can I tell you about this mummy?” And he just remembers these specific moments. He wants to know who comes up with those silly things at the end of the show.

Brian: That would be Bing right over here in the room with me. He’s actually working on the show right now. He started doing those things as a joke and at the beginning when we started doing those.

What was funny, so you’re not alone on that here, your five-year-old’s not alone. What would happen is there would be a couple of days where he wouldn’t do it, and then we get all kinds of letters going, “Hey, where’s the stuff?” We actually had a family just send us in (it was adorable), they sent in a bunch of video of their kids, three of their kids laughing and talking about whatever Bing would pop up on the screen. It’s become a huge favorite and so people notice when we don’t have it. Bing, yell hello real quickly.

Bing: Hello.

Brian: That’s Bing.

[laughter]

Amy: That is great. Yes, we’ve had those moments too where they’ll be like, “Do you think they’re not going to do it anymore?” I’m like, “It’s okay. They’re just making sure you’re paying attention.”

Brian: Yes. Just know, anytime you’re not seeing him most likely Bing is being lazy that day, he’s on vacation or something.

[laughter]

Discussing Hard Subjects in the News with our Kids

Amy: All right. We’ll know now to thank Bing when we’re watching. One of the things I really love as a parent, especially because of this wide age range in my family is the careful way in which you deal with some of the more difficult or even sometimes disturbing news stories that come up.

How should we as parents be discussing those confusing or scary events that are often a part of the news that we’re listening to?

Nick: Amy, I say, straightforwardly, really. The Bible doesn’t blink at hard subjects. There’s a lot of difficult stuff in there. God is good, we can always know that. Anything that goes on in the world that’s bad, well, it’s a violation of His goodness.

You wouldn’t even know what bad was if there wasn’t good. In that sense, I just think we should respect our kids and tell them the truth. Obviously, there are certain things that they need to be shielded from and there’s some stories that we just are not going to do or we will write around it or occasionally, as you’ve seen, since you go all the way back to news and three, we’ll come on before the program even begins and say, “This is tough. What we’re going to tell you is going to be difficult and we give you a parental warning.”

You just have to be wise, you have to know your kids and you have to take them gently along, “This one we’re going to skip.” Or, “This one, let me give you a little background here, something you need to understand before we get into this.”

I just think kids are super intelligent and they really do resonate with what’s going on in the world and when you respect them by saying, “This is not a kid show. We’re going to do the real news. We’re respecting you, we’re inviting you into that. We want you to understand that because you’re going to grow up and you’re going to have to take responsibility for your part in God’s kingdom. You do well to understand these things with me as your parent, as your teacher to bring you along.

That’s why we do this. That was the whole philosophic idea behind doing a program like this.

Brian: I would say, in general, I think for parents to be actively going through this with them on a daily basis, I think it is a really effective way to deal with these things as well.

Maybe if they get introduced to a little something on one day then, later on, it’ll come up again and it will give you just ways to explore that a little bit deeper. If you consistently have that relationship where you’re talking about these types of things, I think it makes it easier and easier each successive time to really just break it down for them.

Amy: That’s sort of parenting in general, the more you can get used to having those sometimes difficult conversations, the easier it’ll be when your kids then have a difficult question or something they want to talk to you about.

They know that you’re already a safe place. You’re not afraid to shy away from the tough topics.

world news in your homeschool, current events, Nick Eicher and Brian Basham, WORLD Watch, WORLD radio

What in the World is Biblically Objective Journalism?

Well, one of the podcasts that keeps me company, and we’ve mentioned it already here, as I go out for my walks, I’ll often put The World and Everything In It podcast in my earbuds.

One of the taglines there references WORLD’s commitment to “Biblically objective journalism.” I would love for you to break that down for us a little bit because I could imagine maybe someone who’s new to that idea, hearing that and thinking, “What is so objective about Biblical journalism?”

Nick: No, I’m glad you asked that question. If we can take some time to unpack it, we’ll run through that. I’m actually in The World and Everything In It studio because we’re going to record the next day’s program here in just a little bit, but when I was in journalism school, long, long time ago, around the time of the pony express, I was taught conventional objectivity and I was not a Christian when I entered college.

I was taught objective. You got to be objective. The more I learned about that concept, the more I thought about that concept, I really wanted to know what the object was about which you’re going to be objective.

What I came to realize is that journalism is pretty easy if you don’t have a truth standard. It’s not even objective at all. It is subjective. It is the balancing of subjectivities. If you can take crazy point of view A, and balance it against sensible point of view B, well, then you’re being balanced. You’re being ‘objective’ but the fact of the matter is that without an object, without something that you can say, “This is truth. This is the north star.”

Like we were talking about earlier about difficult subjects, if there is no good, then there can’t be any bad because it’s a relative concept. Biblically objective, I would actually submit to you, is a bit of a redundancy.

It’s just simply saying that the Bible is our object. The word of God is our object. That’s what we measure everything by. That’s where we begin. That’s our starting point, but without a fixed point, without something true, you can’t be objective because you have to have something to appeal to. Does that make sense?

Amy: Oh, it definitely makes sense. You’re acknowledging upfront, you’re explaining what your object is, as opposed to trying to think that you don’t have presuppositions or at least pretending like you don’t have presuppositions.

Nick: Absolutely. We think of this work as part of the renewal of the mind. When we hear that idea in Romans about not being conformed to this world, but being transformed by the renewal of your mind, there’s a journalistic element to that where a lot of the modern journalism, a lot of the secular so-called journalism in America today, is teaching you and training you to conform to the story of the world where we, as Christian journalists are saying, “No, let’s hear what Paul tells us. Let’s hear what the Bible says about not being conformed.”

You want to reject that idea of being conformed and embrace the idea of being transformed. In both instances, with journalism that doesn’t acknowledge God, it is telling a story of the world, but it’s telling a false story of the world and it’s calling you to conform to it.

If you start with the word of God, you start with Christ, you start with what God has revealed to us, then we know that’s true and there’s another story that God is telling. As a Christian journalist, that’s our responsibility and it’s our privilege, really.

Brian: That’s pretty good. I’m not going to add a whole lot to that because [chuckles] that I think was pretty well said.

Amy: It’s one of the things I genuinely appreciate. Thank you for the work that you guys do and the whole WORLD team. I think it’s something for all ages, both for adults and for the children. It’s just something that is necessary and valued in our family. Thank you.

Nick: Thank you.

How do you become a journalist?

Amy: Well, what advice would you give to maybe the homeschooled student who’s listening to this podcast and they’re thinking either for the first time like, “This sounds like something I want to do.” Or maybe they too have loved journalism since they were four? What kind of advice would you give them for pursuing this as a career? What do they need to do to prepare?

Brian: I think for a lot of it, one is to read a lot, obviously. That seems like a given for a lot of different things, but not to just read-only what you think you’re interested in, but read a lot of different things because in this business, you’re going to be asked to cover everything [laughs] and for the story to be good, for the story to be a discovery of the subject, to really get to understand it, you as the person who’s putting it together really needs to be interested in it so that you communicate it well, you really understand the subject that you’re doing.

I guess on an early level, I would just say just really read and read a lot of different types of things that you might have.

The other is it’s fun to start engaging. You don’t want to be awkward with your friends or anything but really start to ask questions of other people, really start to listen instead of just talking.

I know that’s universal, but as you start to engage with people, find people you don’t really know that well, and just really ask them questions, get to know them. I think that kind of stuff can build some foundational tools that you’re going to need later in life.

Nick: I think that journalism is a good profession to study. I don’t think it’s the end-all-be-all. That’s going to sound like, “What do you mean? You’re a journalist.” One of the best students that we ever had, and I’ll make a little commercial here for the World Journalism Institute which is a college program supplementary, we hear from journalism students all the time that they learned more than in a couple of weeks in an internship with us more than what they learned in a four-year program.

Journalism is hard to teach; it is a practice discipline. It depends on the kid. Again, you’ve really got to know the kid, but a student who is well-educated in history, a student who is well-educated let’s say, in something like economics which I was double-majoring, economics is a great discipline, academic discipline, and then you can learn the writing after that, which is more of what I did.

I did both, but I focused more on economics than on journalism per se. I think that a good solid academic degree is a good thing if you want to be a journalist, and then come to World Journalism Institute.

What you have to do though, this is really crucial, what you need to do when you’re in college is you need to write for the student newspaper, whether it’s an actual something on pulp or it’s digital-only, you should be writing for your newspaper or reporting for your student radio station, doing news.

Give us something that we can look at so we can evaluate you for World Journalism Institute, but all of our people come through that program at one level or another. It’s a really good program. We’ve been doing it now for 20 years. That would be my encouragement to any student who was interested is to plan on making a stop at World Journalism Institute because we want you.

Amy: Some of the journalists who are on WORLD Watch News they’ve come through that program. Is that correct?

Nick: Absolutely, yes, that’s exactly right. As a matter of fact, when you listen to The World and Everything in It, I’ll tell you, this is different about World Journalism Institute. You may know the name Mary Reichard, who is one of my colleagues here at The World and Everything in It. Mary was a practicing attorney and she wanted to get into journalism so she came to World Journalism Institute, mid-career.

There are business people, there are doctors and lawyers and other kinds of professionals who want to get into journalism. We offer that as an on-ramp for WORLD as well. It’s not just young students, it’s continuing students, shall we say.

Amy: Maybe some of the parents who are listening to this, they’re going to be checking that out.

Nick: Yes, maybe some of the parents. Absolutely.

Brian: It very well could be. We’ve got Michelle Slaven and Hannah Harris. Both went through, and they report for us. We also have one of our editors, Benjamin Owen, who also came through our program as well. We can get them in many different areas. It’s really cool and as they go through that, they also get a Biblical perspective as well, as they come and approach it. It’s cool.

Amy: I’ll make sure to include a link to that as well in the show notes for this episode.

What are you reading lately?

Well, I’m actually asking all of my guests the same question. Changing gears, it’s not necessarily journalism related, but I would love to hear what both of you are personally reading lately.

Nick: I’m glad you asked that, because Brian mentioned in his last answer that it’s important to read. It’s an absolutely pertinent question for journalists, I think. I’ve got a Bible study book going for the group that I’m in. I’ve got one of those going, usually.

In addition to that, I’m finishing up a history of the Great Society. It’s called, very imaginative title, Great Society: A New History. It’s by Amity Shlaes. It’s a really excellent history book, but it’s written journalistically. Amity is a writer for The Wall Street Journal. She understands economics really well and she approaches it from that perspective.

She writes about, not just the economic damage of the Great Society programs that continue on to this day, but the cultural damage done to the poor, that the Great Society brought about. That book I’ve got going, I like economics.

I’m reading a book on innovation next. Then after that, is a book I’ve been wanting to read but haven’t gotten around to yet by Rod Dreher, who was a really smart cultural writer for the American Conservative, he just did a book called Live Not by Lies, and I think it’s going to be a really important book. Certainly, probably the next four years.

Amy: How about you, Brian?

Brian: That’s a lot of good stuff there. I will say, and I hate to admit this, but right now I’m doing a lot of first grade readers. Betty Bunny is making it onto my list quite frequently. I hate to admit it right at this moment, I am not currently reading a book. I love reading.

Admittedly, as we started this program, I have found myself fairly inundated [laughs] most of the day and I have not found as much time to read lately, as I typically do. I’m actually a huge fan of historical fiction.

That’s where I tend to find myself. I read a ton of that in general, but I’m embarrassed to say I might read a ton every day, but it’s not stuff that I really want to read. [laughs]

Nick: I know, we spend so much time in front of screens looking at news wires. This eBook craze, that’s not for me. I need to read it on paper just to get a break from all of the screen reading that I do all day long. It is a respite. Brian’s got young kids at home. I mean, it’s just my wife and my dog. The kids are all grown and gone, so it’s a lot easier for me to get the reading that I like to do.

Brian: Amy, let me ask you, do you have suggestions for the next time I get a few moments to go?

Amy: Well, I just finished reading a collection of essays by Flannery O’Connor called Mystery and Manners. I have to admit, I still am not wise enough or perceptive enough to really be able to appreciate and understand her fiction, but I really enjoy this collection of non-fiction essays.

She’s exploring issues of literature, both as a reader, as a writer and as a teacher, the relationship of culture to writing and then the role of the Christian novelist. I would recommend that.

Nick: Awesome.

Brian: Very cool.

Nick: Sounds like good stuff.

Whatever the news, the purpose of the Lord will stand

Amy: Well, here at the close, I would like to ask this question. At the end of WORLD Watch News, one of my favorite parts, and it’s probably the most encouraging part for me, as a mom, I need this reminder every day, is Brian, you always say that, no matter the news, the purpose of the Lord will stand. I would like to ask both of you, how does resting in the Lord affect the way that you personally approach the news, both as a journalist and just as an individual?

Brian: For me, I’ll be honest with you, I like having that as our ending every day because it is a constant reminder. I will say, part of this, I’ve worked in the business for a lot of years, and I’ve consumed a lot of news, and I’ll tell you what, it can freak you out.

I grew up in Arizona where there’s no trees. When I moved somewhere while I was working as a meteorologist in Memphis, we had a lot of downed trees that would cause damage to homes and other kind of damage.

We see stories about this happening and this and that, and I can find myself at times getting stressed out to let my kids leave the house or do this thing or do that thing. I need that constant reminder in my life to go, hey, wait. [laughs] All right, no matter what happens every day. This guy gets elected, this guy doesn’t get elected. This happens.

All that stuff as much as I may not care for one thing or the other, at the end of the day, I know what’s going to happen in the end and I need to find peace in that. That’s a nice thing that God says, “Regardless of what’s happening, I’m right in the center of it, I’ve got control of it.” That’s been huge in my life, and that’s something that I’ve had to remind myself beyond this moment, all through my career, and especially since we’ve had kids, to let news not be the center. Let God be the center in that.

world news in your homeschool, current events, Nick Eicher and Brian Basham, WORLD Watch, WORLD radio

Nick: Again, I would echo that. That’s exactly right. If you listen to The World and Everything in It, we always end with a little verse of scripture, just a thought at the end as a reminder of what’s important.

Everything that we talk about, the stories we report, they are important but ultimately, we just need that reminder, don’t get too caught up in the world. There’s a lot going on.

God loves the world, he so loved the world, but let’s remember that He gave His one and only Son, and so we always want to call ourselves back to that, not forget that, don’t lose sight of that.

Marvin Olasky, our editor in chief likes to say that, “We should not be running around like the sky is falling because we know the God who holds up the sky.” That is the truth. It’s just important for us to remember that and keep that in mind on a daily basis. We find different ways to emphasize that point.

Amy: I think that is such a wonderful way to bring this to a close and thank you both so much for taking the time to chat with me today. I can’t wait to share this with the Homeschool conversations listeners.

Nick: Well, it’s great to meet you the way we’re meeting everybody in 2020 by Zoom.

Brian: Thanks so much, Amy. I really appreciate it.

Check out all the other interviews in my Homeschool Conversations series!

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