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Cover Article

The Monitor and You

From the November 2008 issue of The Christian Science Journal

I subscribe to two newspapers—a well–regarded local paper and The Christian Science Monitor. Each has its strengths. The local keeps me up to speed concerning happenings at city hall and has a sports section telling me everything and more about the home teams. The Monitor has, among other things, superb international coverage and keenly insightful reports on the environment. The coverage of both papers inevitably overlaps at times. For instance, this past summer they both carried a string of front–page pieces on the Russian incursion into Georgia and how this action not only redrew the political map, but also changed the equation regarding oil in the region.

Both the Monitor and my local paper have first–rate journalism. But reading them side by side I realized, not for the first time, a subtle but real difference. The articles in the local left the reader a bit overwhelmed by the political and physical wreckage strewn across the scene. The Monitor articles, at least for me, were not so much overwhelming as they were motivating. The local seemed to have a problem–magnifying slant, the Monitor a problem–solving one.

As I pondered the difference, I recalled what Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy wrote about naming the periodicals she established, including the Journal, in the lead editorial of the very first issue of her newspaper. She not only gave them names, but also shared her vision for each. Of the newspaper she said its mission was "to spread undivided the Science that operates unspent" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 353). I used to think that statement simply referred to the one article included near the back of each issue that offers an explicitly Christian Science perspective on daily life. Now I was considering another possibility. What if the whole paper is intended "to spread undivided the Science that operates unspent"? And if so, how could that happen? How could news articles, articles that don't soft–peddle tragedies and injustices around the planet, but report them candidly and clearly, fulfill such a charge?

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