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WORLD Magazine Editor-in-Chief Marvin Olasky Resigning Over Media Nonprofit’s New Direction

Longtime editor of WORLD Magazine Marvin Olasky has resigned, saying the media company’s decision to launch an opinions section on its website without his backing was effectively a “vote of no confidence.”

Olasky, who has led the publication since 1994 as editor-in-chief, told the New York Times he is not interested in working at a “conservative opinion magazine.”

“There are lots out there already and that’s not my vision of WORLD,” he told the Times in a phone interview.

The new opinions section features essays discussing political issues like mask mandates and President Joe Biden’s economic policies, plus other political topics, from a conservative Christian viewpoint.

Olasky handed in his resignation November 1 and said he plans to leave the organization in January after WORLD’s annual Roe v. Wade issue.

WORLD’s editors, including Olasky, had in October 2016 called Donald Trump “unfit for power” because of alleged past conduct with women, a move that divided the publication’s staff and drew thousands of angry emails from conservatives.

However, as more evangelical conservatives began backing Trump, WORLD began to bend to popular opinion, per the Times.

Olasky is not the first staff member to leave WORLD over its apparent new direction. Editor Mindy Belz, sister-in-law of WORLD’s founder Joel Belz who had reported for WORLD for four decades, resigned in October, saying she was uncomfortable with the changes and feared the publication would lose its reputation for hard reporting, exposing misconduct, and demanding accountability within Christian organizations—principles that it was founded on.

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Board member David Skeel also resigned and told the Times that after the Trump cover story in October 2016, it became more difficult to navigate differences on issues, and that he had “come to believe that WORLD was moving away from its original mission and that I was no longer in step with the rest of the board.”

“Some on both political sides now say: We’re heading toward social Armageddon. We are two nations. It’s them or us,” Olasky wrote in October. “And yet, many on both sides still share the hope of the Pledge of Allegiance: ‘one nation under God.’ I’m on the one-nation team.”

Kevin Martin, CEO of WORLD’s parent company God’s World Publications, said he did not see the organization becoming more partisan, and Olasky had said he intended to leave next summer anyway.

Olasky is also dean of the World Journalism Institute and served as an adviser to George W. Bush when he was governor of Texas.

Anne Stych

Anne Stych is a writer in Charlotte, North Carolina.