Marvin Olasky

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Dr. Marvin Olasky is professor of journalism at The University of Texas at Austin, a position he has held since 1983. According to a biographical note he teaches journalism history, sports writing, and journalism and religion.[1]


In the early 1970's Olasky worked as a reporter for the Bend Bulletin in Oregon and then the Boston Globe. In 1977 he was a speaker on the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade 1977 before turning to public relations. [2] Between 1978 and 1983 he was "speechwriter" and public affairs "program coordinator" for Du Pont in Wilmington, Delaware.[3]

After his move to the University of Texas, Olasky was a prolific writer on journalism and public relations, including in Public Relations Quarterly. However after 1987 Olasky's focus shifted to concentrate primarily on issues such as compassionate conservatism and the anti-abortion movement.

"Raised Jewish, Olasky turned to atheism and then Marxism before converting to Christianity. He's now [2001] a member of the conservative Presbyterian Church in America." [4]

Olasky has had a long association with the World, "a national weekly news magazine from a biblical perspective with a circulation over 335,000".[5] He was "editor at large" between 1992 and 1994 and since then has been its editor.

Between 1989 and 1990 Olasky was the Bradley Scholar at the Heritage Foundation and between 1995 and 1996 a Senior Fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation.

Olasky has also had a long association with the conservative Capital Research Center (CRC) which has been one of the champions of the defund the left campaign. Between 1991 and 1994 Olasky was Editor of the CRC's Philanthropy, Culture, and Society project. He continues the association as a senior fellow and a regular contributor to their publications.

According to a biographical note he also writes a bi-weekly column for the Austin American Statesman and occasional columns for USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and Investor's Business Daily. [6]

He has been described by The New York Times as "the godfather of compassionate conservatism" [7]

In her book Bushwomen, Laura Flanders writes, "Olasky is not a fan of high-achieving women. Women joining the workforce have had 'dire consequences for society,' he told a Christian magazine in 1998. Can women be leaders? 'God does not forbid women to be leaders in society ... but there's a certain shame attached to it,' he said."

Olasky is a consultant to the Randolph Foundation and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Donner Foundation. [8]


Authored by Olasky

Olasky is the author of thirteen books, including:

  • Patterns of Corporate Philanthropy, Capital Research Center, 1987.
  • Corporate Public Relations: A New Historical Perspective, Erlbaum, 1987
  • The Press and Abortion, 1838-1988, Erlbaum, 1988.
  • Prodigal Press, Crossway, 1988.
  • Central Ideas in the Development of American Journalism, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1991.
  • Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America, Crossway, 1992; Regnery, 1995.
  • Philanthropically Correct: The Story of the Council on Foundations, Capital Research Center, 1993.
  • The Tragedy of American Compassion, Regnery 1992, 1995.
  • Renewing American Compassion: How Compassion for the Needy Can Turn Ordinary Citizens into Heroes (The Free Press,1996)
  • Telling the Truth: How to Revitalize Christian Journalism (Crossway, 1996)
  • Fighting for Liberty and Virtue: Political and Cultural Wars in Eighteenth Century America (Crossway, 1995; Regnery, 1996)
  • God, Sex, and Statesmanship: The Morals and Politics of Great American Leaders, The Free Press, 1998
  • Compassionate Conservatism: What It Is, What It Does, and How It Can Transform America, Free Press/ Simon & Schuster.

Co-authored by Olasky

  • Turning Point: A Christian Worldview Declaration, Crossway, 1987.
  • Freedom, Justice, and Hope: Toward a Strategy for the Poor and the Oppressed, Crossway, 1988.
  • More Than Kindness: A Compassionate Approach to Crisis Childbearing, Crossway, 1990.
  • Patterns of Corporate Philanthropy: Funding False Compassion, Capital Research Center, 1991.
  • Patterns of Corporate Philanthropy: The Progressive Deception, Capital Research Center, 1992.
  • Loving Your Neighbor: A Principled Approach to Charitable Giving, Capital Research Center, 1995.
  • Whirled Views: Charting Today's Culture Storms (Crossway, 1997)

Selected articles on journalism and PR

(not included in the above listsing)

  • "Bernays' Doctrine of Public Opinion," Public Relations Review, Fall, 1984.
  • "The 1984 Public Relations Scam Awards," Business and Society Review, Fall, 1984.
  • "A Re-appraisal of Nineteenth Century Public Relations," Public Relations Review, Spring, 1985.
  • "Chemical Giant Hoodwinks the Press," Business and Society Review, Summer, 1985.
  • "Still Time for Journalists to Learn Humility," Houston Post, June 23, 1985.
  • "Ministers or Panderers: Issues Raised by the Public Relations Society Code of Professional Standards," Journal of Mass Media Ethics, Fall, 1985.
  • "Bringing 'Order Out of Chaos': Edward Bernays and the Salvation of Society Through Public Relations," Journalism History, Fall, 1985.
  • "The Public Relations Scams of 1985," Business and Society Review, Winter, 1985.
  • "The Failure of Movie Industry Public Relations, 1921-1934," Journal of Popular Film and Television, Winter, 1985.
  • "Public Relations Vs. Private Enterprise," Public Relations Quarterly, Winter, 1985.
  • "Hornswoggled! How Utility Public Relations Created 'Natural Monopolies,'" Reason, February, 1986.
  • Development of Corporate Public Relations, 1850-1930 (1987) (monograph)
  • "Would I Lie? Moral Pitfalls of Public Relations," Eternity, April, 1986.
  • "Nuclear Disasters, Atheism and Reporting," World, May 19, 1986.
  • "PR to Save the World or the Corporation?" The Wall Street Journal, September 8, 1986.
  • "Corporate-Government Partnership in the Name of the Public Interest," Public Relations Quarterly, Fall, 1986.
  • "Television and Propaganda," Critique, November, 1986.
  • "Christian Journalism is Nothing New," The Standard, November, 1986.
  • "U.S. Steel vs. the USA, 1933-1962," Public Relations Review, Winter, 1986.
  • "When World Views Collide: Journalists and the Great Monkey Trial," American Journalism, Summer, 1987.
  • "Minimizing Competition Through Public Relations: The Agenda-Setting of Ivy Lee," Public Relations Quarterly, Fall, 1987.
  • "Engineering Social Change: Triumphs of Abortion Public Relations from the Thirties Through the Sixties," Public Relations Quarterly, Winter, 1988-1989; reprinted in Media Information Australia, February, 1990.
  • "White House 90210: Murdoch's Raid of CBS Stations," World, June 18, 1994. Reprinted in Dispatches, July 15, 1994.
  • Directed Reporting (1994) (monograph)
  • To Soar and Surprise: Directed Reporting," World, June 3, 1995.

Chapters in books on PR and journalism

  • "Roots of Modern Public Relations," in Arthur Berger, ed., Media USA, 1988.
  • "Democracy and the Secularization of the American Press," in Quentin J. Schultze, ed., American Evangelicals and the Mass Media (1990).
  • "American Democracy and Press Freedom," co-author, in Brent Fulton, ed., Essays on Democracy (1991).
  • "Journalists and the Great Monkey Trial," in David Sloan, ed., Media and Religion in American History, 1998.

Other Affiliations

  • Elder, Redeemer Presbyterian Church
  • Faculty Advisor, Reformed University Fellowship
  • Member, Board of Contributors, USA Today
  • Member, Board of Directors, The American Compass
  • Senior Advisor, Christian Research Institute for Social and Economic Strategies
  • Columnist, Austin American-Statesman
  • Member, Editorial Board, Rhetoric and Public Affairs

Olaskey, according to a 1998 listing, is also a member of the boards of advisors of the Center of the American Experiment, Center for Private Conservation, Western Journalism Center, Food for the Hungry, Austin Crisis Pregnancy Center, Children's Educational Opportunity of Austin and a Member, Board of Reference, National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise.[9]

Contact details

Dr. Marvin Olasky
4106 Firstview Drive
Austin, Texas 78731
Telephone: (512) 451-6278
Fax: (512) 451-6580

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links

  • "Marvin Olasky", undated,, accessed October 2004.
  • "Archive of articles by Marvin Olasky",, accessed October 2004.
  • University of Texas, "Marvin Olasky", accessed October 2004. (This page contains an extensive listing of articles, books and book chapters written by Olasky between 1983 and 1998).
  • Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, "Staff Member: Senior Fellows Dr. Marvin Olasky", accessed October 2004.
  • Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, Editorials by Marvin Olasky, accessed October 2004.
  • Stand By Your Man, BushFiles, April 14, 2000: "In late February, Marvin Olasky took a beating in the secular press when one of his syndicated columns complained about reporters with 'holes in their souls'."