International Justice Mission's covert ministry becomes very public
In 1999, Christianity Today covered the work of Gary Haugen and his International Justice Mission (IJM), which had then been doing case work against sexual slavery for a year. Still, what a year it had been: In 1998, the ministry had freed more than 700 people, largely through covertly infiltrating, investigating, and documenting abuses around the world.

Five years later, International Justice Mission has become a media focus, with Forbes specifically profiling the group and Dateline NBC cooperating with IJM on a major piece on Cambodia's child sex market.

But that's not all: Four weeks ago, NPR's Morning Edition gave much attention to IJM's work in a piece on the U.S. government's crackdown on American sex tourists, as does this week's New York Times Magazine cover story on sex trafficking (Times reporter Peter Landesman talked about his story yesterday on NPR's Fresh Air, and Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has also been reporting on Cambodia's sex slavery)

For a good look at the kind of work IJM does, check out the Dateline NBC report. The undercover, secret videotape work included in that report—of pimps, of victims, and of customer/rapists—along with a raid that includes the arrest of pimps and freeing of young girls, is the kind of thing that IJM is largely known for. Almost every time you hear "Dateline" in the report, mentally add, "working with IJM."

Part of Haugen's work is to go after American sex tourists, not just the pimps. And the Dateline report also includes a fine example of this: an IJM investigator caught American radiologist Jerrold Albom on video bragging about coming to Cambodia to have sex with girls as young as 14. Dateline reporters ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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