The Christian Science Monitor

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The Christian Science Monitor
The Christian Science Monitor masthead.png
Christian Science Monitor.jpg
The cover of The Christian Science Monitor for April 26, 2009
TypeWeekly newspaper
Owner(s) Christian Science Publishing Society
EditorMark Sappenfield
Founded1908;111 years ago (1908)
Headquarters210 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. 02115
Circulation 75,052 (Print, 2011)
10,000 (Digital, 2018)
ISSN 0882-7729
Website www.csmonitor.com

The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) is a nonprofit news organization that publishes daily articles in electronic format as well as a weekly print edition. [1] [2] It was founded in 1908 as a daily newspaper by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist. [3] As of 2011, the print circulation was 75,052. [4]

Electronic publishing includes the digital publication of e-books, digital magazines, and the development of digital libraries and catalogues. It also includes an editorial aspect, that consists of editing books, journals or magazines that are mostly destined to be read on a screen.

Newspaper Scheduled publication containing news of events, articles, features, editorials, and advertising

A newspaper is a periodical publication containing written information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background.

Mary Baker Eddy American religious leader

Mary Baker Eddy was an American religious leader who founded Christian Science, a new religious movement, in New England in the latter half of the 19th century.

Contents

According to the organization's website, "the Monitor's global approach is reflected in how Mary Baker Eddy described its object as 'To injure no man, but to bless all mankind.' The aim is to embrace the human family, shedding light with the conviction that understanding the world's problems and possibilities moves us towards solutions." The Christian Science Monitor has won seven Pulitzer Prizes and more than a dozen Overseas Press Club awards. [5]

Reporting

Despite its name, the Monitor is not a religious-themed paper, and does not promote the doctrine of its patron church. However, at its founder Eddy's request, a daily religious article has appeared in every issue of the Monitor.

Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the essence of teachings in a given branch of knowledge or in a belief system. The etymological Greek analogue is "catechism".

The paper has been known for avoiding sensationalism, producing a "distinctive brand of nonhysterical journalism". [6] [7] In 1997, the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs , a publication critical of United States policy in the Middle East, praised the Monitor for its objective and informative coverage of Islam and the Middle East. [8]

Sensationalism is a type of editorial tactic in mass media. Events and topics in news stories are selected and worded to excite the greatest number of readers and viewers. This style of news report encourages biased impressions of events rather than neutrality, and may cause a manipulation to the truth of a story. Sensationalism may rely on reports about generally insignificant matters and portray them as a major influence on society, or biased presentations of newsworthy topics, in a trivial, or tabloid manner, contrary to general assumptions of professional journalistic standards.

<i>Washington Report on Middle East Affairs</i> magazine

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs magazine, published eight times per year, focuses on "news and analysis from and about the Middle East and U.S. policy in that region". The New York Times has characterized it as "critical of United States policies in the Middle East". In 2005, USA Today called it "a non-partisan publication that has been critical of Bush's policies". Representatives of pro-Israel organizations have criticized the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs as being aligned with the Arab lobby and as "anti-Israel".

In 2006, Jill Carroll, a freelance reporter for the Monitor, was kidnapped in Baghdad, and released safely after 82 days. Although Carroll was initially a freelancer, the paper worked tirelessly for her release, even hiring her as a staff writer shortly after her abduction to ensure that she had financial benefits, according to Bergenheim. [9] Beginning in August 2006, the Monitor published an account [10] of Carroll's kidnapping and subsequent release, with first-person reporting from Carroll and others involved.

Jill Carroll is an American former journalist who was kidnapped and ultimately released in Iraq.

Circulation

The paper's overall circulation has ranged widely, from a peak of over 223,000 in 1970, to just under 56,000 shortly before the suspension of the daily print edition in 2009. [11] Partially in response to declining circulation and the struggle to earn a profit, the church's directors and the manager of the Christian Science Publishing Society were purportedly forced to plan cutbacks and closures (later denied), which led in 1989 to the mass protest resignations by its chief editor Kay Fanning (an ASNE president and former editor of the Anchorage Daily News ), managing editor David Anable, associate editor David Winder, and several other newsroom staff. These developments also presaged administrative moves to scale back the print newspaper in favor of expansions into radio, a magazine, shortwave broadcasting, and television. Expenses, however, rapidly outpaced revenues, contradicting predictions by church directors. On the brink of bankruptcy, the board was forced to close the broadcast programs in 1992.

Christian Science Publishing Society publishing arm of The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts

The Christian Science Publishing Society was established in 1898 by Mary Baker Eddy and is the publishing arm of The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts.

Katherine "Kay" Fanning was an American journalist and newspaper editor and publisher. She was editor and publisher of the Anchorage Daily News. In 1983, she became editor of the Christian Science Monitor in Boston, Massachusetts, where she became the first woman to edit an American national newspaper. She was the president of the American Society of News Editors from April 1987–April 1988.

<i>Anchorage Daily News</i> daily newspaper

The Anchorage Daily News is a daily newspaper published by the Binkley Co., and based in Anchorage, Alaska. It is the most widely read newspaper and news website (adn.com) in the state of Alaska.

In 2017 the Monitor put up a paywall on its content; in 2018 it had approximately 10,000 subscriptions. [12]

History

Founding

The Monitor's inception was, in part, a response by its founder Mary Baker Eddy to the journalism of her day, which relentlessly covered the sensations and scandals surrounding her new religion with varying degrees of accuracy. In addition, Joseph Pulitzer's New York World was consistently critical of Eddy, and this, along with a derogatory article in McClure's , furthered Eddy's decision to found her own media outlet. [5] Eddy also required the inclusion of "Christian Science" in the paper's name, over initial opposition by some of her advisors who thought the religious reference might repel a secular audience. [5]

Eddy also saw a vital need to counteract the fear often spread by media reporting:

Looking over the newspapers of the day, one naturally reflects that it is dangerous to live, so loaded with disease seems the very air. These descriptions carry fears to many minds, to be depicted in some future time upon the body. A periodical of our own will counteract to some extent this public nuisance; for through our paper, at the price at which we shall issue it, we shall be able to reach many homes with healing, purifying thought. [13]

Eddy declared that the Monitor's mission should be "to injure no man, but to bless all mankind". [5]

Radio and television

MonitoRadio was a radio service produced by the Church of Christ, Scientist between 1984 and 1997. It featured several one-hour news broadcasts a day, as well as top of the hour news bulletins. The service was widely heard on public radio stations throughout the United States. The Monitor later launched an international broadcast over shortwave radio, called the World Service of the Christian Science Monitor. Weekdays were news-led, but weekend schedules were exclusively dedicated to religious programming. That service ceased operations on June 28, 1997. [14]

In 1986, the Monitor started producing a current affairs television series, The Christian Science Monitor Reports, which was distributed via syndication to television stations across the United States. In 1988, the Christian Science Monitor Reports won a Peabody Award [15] for a series of reports on Islamic fundamentalism. That same year, the program was canceled and the Monitor created a daily television program, World Monitor, anchored by former NBC correspondent John Hart, which was initially shown on the Discovery Channel. In 1991, World Monitor moved to the Monitor Channel, a 24-hour news and information channel. [14] The channel launched on May 1, 1991 with programming from its Boston TV station. [16] The only religious programming on the channel was a five-minute Christian Science program early each morning. [17] In 1992, after eleven months on the air, the service was shut down amid huge financial losses. [18] Programming from the Monitor Channel was also carried nationally via the WWOR EMI Service (a nationally oriented feed of New Jersey TV station WWOR-TV, launched in 1990 due to the SyndEx laws put into place the year prior).

Modernization

The print edition continued to struggle for readership, and, in 2004, faced a renewed mandate from the church to earn a profit. Subsequently, the Monitor began relying more on the Internet as an integral part of its business model. The Monitor was one of the first newspapers to put its text online in 1996, and was also one of the first to launch a PDF edition in 2001. It was also an early pioneer of RSS feeds. [19]

In 2005, Richard Bergenheim, a Christian Science practitioner, was named the new editor. Shortly before his death in 2008, Bergenheim was replaced by a veteran Boston Globe editor and former Monitor reporter John Yemma. [20]

In October 2008, citing net losses of $US18.9 million per year versus $US12.5 million in annual revenue, the Monitor announced that it would cease printing daily and instead print weekly editions starting in April 2009. [21] [22] The last daily print edition was published on March 27, 2009.

The weekly magazine follows on from the Monitor's London edition, also a weekly, launched in 1960 and the weekly World Edition which replaced the London edition in 1974. [23] Mark Sappenfield became the editor in March 2017. [24]

Awards

Monitor staff have been the recipients of seven Pulitzer Prizes:

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Richard Bergenheim, CSB was the former editor of The Christian Science Monitor, and President of The First Church of Christ, Scientist.

References

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  4. Archived copy at WebCite (March 17, 2013). Audit Bureau of Circulations
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  23. "Monitor Timeline". The Christian Science Monitor.
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Further reading