The Christian Science Monitor

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The Christian Science Monitor
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{{short description|Nonprofit news organization owned by the Church of Christ, Scientist}}{{Use American English|date = September 2019}}{{Use mdy dates|date=October 2012}}

}}The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) is a nonprofit news organization that publishes daily articles in electronic format as well as a weekly print edition.WEB, Barnett, Jim, What advocacy nonprofits can learn from The Christian Science Monitor,weblink Nieman Lab, Harvard College, April 27, 2010, November 19, 2017,weblink" title="">weblink October 6, 2017, live, mdy-all, NEWS, Kasuya, Jacquelyn, Nonprofit Christian Science Monitor Seeks New Financial Model,weblink The Chronicle of Philanthropy, April 30, 2010, November 19, 2017,weblink December 1, 2017, live, mdy-all, It was founded in 1908 as a daily newspaper by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist.BOOK, Koestler-Grack, Rachel, Mary Baker Eddy, 2013, Chelsea House, New York, 978-1-4381-4707-9,weblink {{As of|2011}}, the print circulation was 75,052.weblink" title="">Archived copy at WebCite (March 17, 2013). Audit Bureau of CirculationsAccording 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.WEB,weblink About the Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor, February 5, 2007,


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.The paper has been known for avoiding sensationalism, producing a "distinctive brand of nonhysterical journalism".NEWS, Alex Beam, The Boston Globe, Appealing to a higher authority, June 9, 2005,weblink May 14, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink September 8, 2008, live, mdy-all, NEWS, Daniel Akst, Carnegie Reporter, Fall 2005,weblink Nonprofit Journalism: Removing the Pressure of the Bottom Line, Carnegie Corporation of New York, January 10, 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink March 11, 2015, 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.NEWS, As U.S. Media Ownership Shrinks, Who Covers Islam?,weblink Richard Curtiss, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 1997, January 30, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink April 27, 2013, live, mdy-all, 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.NEWS,weblink Carroll Reunites with family, CNN World, April 2, 2006, January 30, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink September 12, 2013, live, mdy-all, Beginning in August 2006, the Monitor published an accountWEB,weblink Hostage: The Jill Carroll Story, Jill Carroll, Christian Science Monitor, August 14, 2006, January 30, 2013, of Carroll's kidnapping and subsequent release, with first-person reporting from Carroll and others involved.


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.weblink {{Webarchive|url= |date=September 10, 2013 }}, Bloomberg Businessweek, October 28, 2008. 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.In 2017 the Monitor put up a paywall on its content; in 2018 it had approximately 10,000 subscriptions.WEB,weblink The Christian Science Monitor’s new paid, daily product is aiming for 10,000 subscribers in a year, Nieman Lab, 2019-08-23,



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. 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.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.Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 7:17–24Eddy declared that the Monitor's mission should be "to injure no man, but to bless all mankind".

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.BOOK, Monitoring the News, M.E. Sharpe,weblink Susan, Bridge, 0-7656-0315-2, 1998, 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 AwardWEB, Peabody Awards "Islam in Turmoil",weblink April 10, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink June 11, 2010, live, mdy-all, 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. The channel launched on May 1, 1991 with programming from its Boston TV station.JOURNAL, Monitoring the 'Monitor', Broadcasting, December 31, 1990, 119, 27, 64,weblink April 6, 2017, The only religious programming on the channel was a five-minute Christian Science program early each morning.NEWS, New Deadline for Monitor Channel, New York Times,weblink Seth, Jr., Faison, April 6, 1992, D7, February 18, 2017,weblink" title="">weblink April 2, 2017, live, mdy-all, In 1992, after eleven months on the air, the service was shut down amid huge financial losses.NEWS, James L., Franklin, April 24, 1994, 28, Monitor Channel is missed, Boston Globe,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, October 25, 2012, 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).


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.CONFERENCE, Gill, K. E, Blogging, RSS and the information landscape: A look at online news, WWW 2005 Workshop on the Weblogging Ecosystem, 2005,weblink January 30, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink October 20, 2012, live, mdy-all, 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.WEB, David, Cook, John Yemma named Monitor editor, The Christian Science Monitor,weblink January 30, 2013, June 9, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink May 3, 2009, live, mdy-all, 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.WEB,weblink The Christian Science Monitor to Become a Weekly, Fine, Jon, October 28, 2008, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, January 31, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink March 10, 2016, live, mdy-all, NEWS, Christian Science Paper to End Daily Print Edition, The New York Times,weblink October 28, 2008, Stephanie, Clifford, October 28, 2008, B8,weblink" title="">weblink April 17, 2009, live, mdy-all, 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.WEB, Monitor Timeline, The Christian Science Monitor,weblink Mark Sappenfield became the editor in March 2017.NEWS, David T., Cook,weblink New editor named to lead The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor, December 16, 2013, August 2, 2017,weblink August 3, 2017, live, mdy-all,


Monitor staff have been the recipients of seven Pulitzer Prizes:

, The Pulitzer Prizes; 1967 winners, Pulitzer, April 19, 2010,

, April 19, 2010,

, The Pulitzer Prizes; 1969 winners, Pulitzer, October 14, 1968, April 19, 2010,



Further reading

  • Merrill, John C. and Harold A. Fisher. The world's great dailies: profiles of fifty newspapers (1980) pp. 96–103

External links

{{Christian Science Publishing Society}}{{White House James S. Brady Press Briefing Room seating chart}}{{Christian Science}}{{Newspapers in Massachusetts}}{{Authority control}}

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