Christian Science Monitor

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The global headquarters of The Christian Science Monitor on Massachusetts Avenue in Boston

The Christian Science Monitor, sometimes called simply The Monitor, is a nonprofit, mainstream, Pulitzer Prize winning news organization that publishes daily articles in electronic format and also a weekly print edition.[1] Based in Boston, Massachusetts, it was founded in 1908 as a daily newspaper by Mary Baker Eddy, who also founded Christian Science. She state that The Monitor's mission should be "to injure no man, but to bless all mankind", and she later wrote:

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.[2]

As a result, the newspaper as a policy reports on positive news as well as emergencies, and it always includes one religious editorial. Eddy required the use of "Christian Science" in the paper's name over the opposition if some of her advisors, who thought the religious reference might repel a secular audience.

The Monitor has won more than a dozen Overseas Press Club awards, and its staff have won seven Pulitzer Prizes, including

  • 1950 Pulitzer for International Reporting[3]: to Edmund Stevens for his series of 43 articles written over a three-year residence in Moscow entitled, "This Is Russia Uncensored."
  • 1967 Pulitzer for International Reporting[3]: to R. John Hughes for his thorough reporting of the attempted Communist coup in Indonesia in 1965 and the purge that followed in 1965-66.
  • 1968 Pulitzer for National Reporting[4]: to Howard James for his series of articles, Crisis in the Courts.
  • 1969 Pulitzer for National Reporting[4]: to Robert Cahn for his inquiry into the future of U.S. national parks and the methods that may help to preserve them.
  • 1978 Pulitzer Special Citations and Awards, Journalism[5]: to Richard Strout for distinguished commentary from Washington over many years as staff correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor and contributor to The New Republic.
  • 1996 Pulitzer for International Reporting[3]: to David Rohde for his persistent on-site reporting of the slaughter of thousands of Bosnian Muslims in the Srebrenica genocide.[6]
  • 2002 Pulitzer for Editorial Cartooning[7]: to Clay Bennett[8]

Circulation and format

The paper's 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.[9] By late 2011, The Monitor was receiving an average of about 22 million hits per month on its website, slightly below the Los Angeles Times.[10] In 2017, the Monitor put up a paywall on its content, and in 2018, there were approximately 10,000 subscriptions to the Monitor Daily email service.[11] As of September 2023, the number of hits had fallen to one million per month.[12]

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.[13][14] The last daily print edition was published on March 27, 2009.

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.[15]

In the 1980's and 1990's, the newspaper experimented with radio and TV broadcasts but could not sustain the costs in the long run.

Responsible coverage

The Monitor is a mainstream newspaper paper known for coverage of international issues, and it generally reports objectively on most matters; in fact, the Media Bias Checker classifies The Monitor as "least biased", which is its best rating.[16]

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.[17] Beginning in August 2006, the Monitor published an account[18] of Carroll's kidnapping and subsequent release, with first-person reporting from Carroll and others involved.

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.[19]

During the years Nelson Mandela was emprisoned (1962-1987) in South Africa after having been convicted of sabotage, among other charges, The Christian Science Monitor was one of the newspapers he was allowed to read.[20] Five months after his release, Mandela visited Boston and stopped by The Monitor offices, telling the staff "The Monitor continues to give me hope and confidence for the world's future"[21] and thanking them for their "unwavering coverage of apartheid".[20] Mandela called The Monitor "one of the more important voices covering events in South Africa".[22]

During the era of McCarthyism, a term first coined by The Monitor,[23] the paper was one of the earliest critics of U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy.[24]


Some content on this page may previously have appeared on Wikipedia.


  1. About The Christian Science Monitor online, last access 9/20/2023
  2. Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 7:17–24
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 International Reporting awards of Pulitzer Prizes over the years
  4. 4.0 4.1 National Reporting awards of Pulitzer Prizes over the years
  5. Special Citations and Awards of Pulitzer Prizes over the years
  6. The Pulitzer Prizes; 1996 winners. Pulitzer.
  7. Editorial Cartooning awards of Pulitzer Prizes over the years
  8. Clay Bennett's Pulitzer Prize winning cartoons from the Christian Science Monitor website, last access 9/20/2023
  9. Fine, Jon (October 28, 2008). The Christian Science Monitor to Become a Weekly. Bloomberg Businessweek.
  10. (2012) The Christian Science Monitor: Its History, Mission, and People. Nebbadoon Press. ISBN 978-1-891331-27-5. 
  11. The Christian Science Monitor's new paid, daily product is aiming for 10,000 subscribers in a year.
  12. | Overview.
  13. Fine, Jon (October 28, 2008). The Christian Science Monitor to Become a Weekly. Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
  14. Clifford, Stephanie. Christian Science Paper to End Daily Print Edition, The New York Times, October 28, 2008, p. B8.
  15. Gill, K. E (2005). Blogging, RSS and the information landscape: A look at online news{{{booktitle}}}.
  16. The Media Bias Fact Check] website, when accessed on 9/20/2023, classified the Christian Science Monitor as "least biased", a rare high rating for any newspaper.
  17. Carroll Reunites with family, CNN World, April 2, 2006.
  18. Jill Carroll (August 14, 2006). Hostage: The Jill Carroll Story. Christian Science Monitor.
  19. Richard Curtiss. As U.S. Media Ownership Shrinks, Who Covers Islam?, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 1997.
  20. 20.0 20.1 If you were there, you remember Mandela's 1990 tour of the US.
  21. (December 6, 2013) "Nelson Mandela at the Monitor: A memorable visitor on a quiet Sunday". Christian Science Monitor.
  22. From the Collections: Mandela visits the Monitor. Mary Baker Eddy Library (March 2, 2020).
  23. citing Christian Science Monitor, March 28, 1950, p. 20.
  24. Strout, Lawrence N. (1999). Covering McCarthyism: how the 'Christian Science Monitor' handled Joseph R. McCarthy, 1950-1954. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. "Introduction".