See also Part I (Sept. 21) and Part II (Sept. 23) which includes some important financial information, in this series.

Dear Readers,

Whether you read our reports through our website or are a subscriber to our daily e-mails, have you ever wondered what actually goes into producing 10 to 20 original news stories every single weekday?

Let me tell you.

Years ago our founders, Steve Jalsevac and John-Henry Westen, acquired a rare “story gnome,” who now sits in our office, eats paper and magically produces dozens of cutting edge, truthful reports with a flip of his wrists, while we kick back and sip on martinisâEUR¦

Ok, so that might not be true. Such are the daydreams of news editors!

In reality, our mission requires a significant-sized, highly-trained and experienced paid staff, not to mention first-rate technology.

And unlike the gnome, we don’t magically create the news in the blink of an eye. Here is what really happens each day:

Late at night and early the next morning, Editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen begins scouring his hundreds of emails and the Internet for news tips or breaking stories. Westen, a father of 7, developed his research skills while earning his Masters of Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Toronto. Throughout the day John-Henry also receives numerous telephone calls and stays in constant communication with our Managing Director, Steve Jalsevac, and LSN’s extensive network of contacts around the globe.

John-Henry then assigns the day’s stories to LSN’s writers located on three different continents. US stories usually go to either Kathleen Gilbert or Peter Smith, both graduates of Christendom College, and both reporting out of Virginia.

Kathleen was the salutatorian of her graduating class, and is now pursuing her masters in systematic theology part time. Peter Smith, on the other hand, was the editor-in-chief of Christendom’s student journal, a founder of the college’s debate society, is an accomplished actor, and has several years’ experience writing for LSN.

Canadian stories go to long time writer Thaddeus Baklinski, a father of 14 children, or Patrick Craine, a philosophy graduate of Redeemer College (with distinctions) and theology graduate of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy (summa cum laude), who report out of Ontario and Nova Scotia respectively.

South American news is covered by our Latin-American correspondent Matthew Hoffman, who has years of experience working and writing for conservative causes, having been published in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal.

European stories go to LSN veteran Hilary White, who in previous years lived and worked out of the UK, but now works out of her office in Rome. Hilary was close to the late John Muggeridge and has many similar other notable connections. Her location and her European connections allow her to gain the inside scoop on all things Europe and Vatican-related before almost anyone else.

In case you’re not counting, that’s already 8 employees, and we’re just getting started!

Often crucial news items crop up that require more attention and thought than others. When this happens, John-Henry contacts Steve, an economics and political science graduate, former successful businessman, and father of eight, who has been involved in the pro-life cause for 30 years. The pair then begins discussions with pro-life, pro-family and religious leaders, medical and scientific specialists and other advisers and groups from whatever country/continent the issue pertains to, and set to work on the stories.

Series of conference calls involving three or more participants are a part of everyday life for the co-founders. As well, they communicate frequently with each other throughout each day and with myself, the assistant editor (John Jalsevac), and the staff writers about story developments and concerns.

After meticulously accounting for all the facts, and determining how to craft the story in the most accurate, charitable and effective manner possible, Steve and John-Henry then start working on writing these more sensitive reports, outlining the truth behind the issues in the way determined by the day’s (sometimes week’s) discussions.

Finally, as stories are completed, the writers send them to me. I carefully edit each of the reports for content, grammar, spelling, style, factual accuracy and overall effect. Then I format and publish the stories on the website, at which point the news usually goes through one final edit by Steve. When everything is ready (sometimes quite late in the evening), Steve sends that day’s news to our thousands of email subscribers.

But that’s not all. Take a deep breath, because we’ve still got a ways to go!

There’s still the technical side of things, like the whole complex infrastructure of the website, the email server, the design, and all the ins and outs of day-to-day technical support. These are made possible only by our web designer Rob Houston, our webmaster, Harvey Armoogan, and our web developer Joe Baird – all who work under Steve and are very capable men who share the passion for the LifeSiteNews mission.

And lucky for Tim Waggoner, our development officer who tackles the fundraising duties at LSN, the “story gnome” is a work of fiction, or else he probably wouldn’t have a job right now. But, at the same time, the scope of LSN’s operations, and the constant challenges and uncertainties of keeping a growing pro-life non-profit funded puts a lot of pressure on Tim.

Tim works closely under Steve, coordinating new developments with the technical team and strategizing ways to cover LSN’s current and expanding budget. And it is always expanding. If it weren’t, we could never achieve our goal of reporting on the culture wars and effectively counter-balancing the bias of the MSM.

On that note, I would like to mention the recent hiring of Matthew Anderson, yet another top-of-the-class summa cum laude philosophy and theology graduate of Christendom College. Matt is our new US coordinator, working out of our humble new, one-room office in Front Royal, Virginia. (Note: the Pittsburgh address will no longer be used by LSN, but mail sent there will be forwarded to the new address.) Matt also occasionally writes for LSN when time permits and the need arises.

Matt is being greatly assisted by now former US coordinator Meg Jalsevac, another Christendom College grad, who is expecting her third child and therefore could not continue with the coordinator tasks. However, Meg is still involved from her home in Pittsburgh as the Secretary/Treasurer of US. She also occasionaly writes LSN stories and provides invaluable input into the operation.

We should also mention that since LifeSiteNews staff, except Matt Anderson, all work from their homes, the Canadian branch of LifeSiteNews is very dependent upon the assistance of the country’s national pro-life organization, Campaign Life Coalition, for donation processing, sending out our thank you letters and other mailings, payroll processing and coordination of all the same with LSN US. We are especially grateful for the always reliable efforts of CLC’s Margaret VanDyk and Deny Dieleman, without whom the Canadian branch of LSN could not function.

And that is a brief overview of the LSN team (only some of which are shown in the above picture) and a day in the life of There are, of course far more details that have been left out of this short sketch. Give me a few days and I will tell you all about it. But by now the point should be clear – producing our reliable, first-rate reporting every single weekday takes the coordinated efforts of an exceptional, highly dedicated staff.

But, that’s still not the end of the story. Because there is still one HUGE group of people that I’ve left out. This is the group that ensures that LSN is able to exist at all. It is, in fact, only because of this group that, despite all the odds, we have been able to provide our exceptional news reporting to countless millions of readers for over a decade.

That other group is YOU.

You, our readers, are our financial backers and our prayer warriors. Your donations pay for the modest salaries (too modest actually) paid to our staff, which in turn help them to support their families while they engage in this culture-saving and, yes, life-saving work. By the way, all but Matt Anderson work from their homes. You also pay for the technical equipment and numerous other expenses involved in operating LSN every day.

And, of course, your prayers protect and strengthen us to truly be beacons of truth for a world that is more confused, lost, and desperate than perhaps ever before in history.

So the next time you read a LifeSiteNews story, think about the efforts of the thousands of people (staff and dedicated supporters) that have gone into creating and publishing it. And remember that it is only you, the readers, who can ensure that LSN continues to do (and continually does better) what it has been doing – for years to come.

Now, more than ever before, in these difficult cultural and financial times, we need your generosity and prayers behind us, keeping us going.

Before I close I also want to issue a sincere thank you to those who have already helped us raise the funds that have come in so far during this campaign – you are still receiving these emails in order to keep you updated on this goal that you have given us a hope of achieving.

We ask those who have not yet donated, to please do so generously today. If your prefer to donate by mail or telephone,Click Here (US, International) or Here (Canada)

And if you are reading this on a printed version the address to go to is

For the Truth,
4 Family Life Lane
Front Royal, VA 22630
104 Bond St, Third Floor
Toronto, ON
M5B 1X9

John Jalsevac
Assistant Editor