Nebbadoon Press

The Christian Science Monitor: Its History, Mission, and People
by Keith S. Collins

Reader Remarks

"ItsSoInteresting"
In-depth
audio interviews
with the author
Interview

Part One

30 mins.
Part Two
20 mins.

Mary Baker Eddy Library
video event
John Yemma introduction
Part One

4 mins.
Author reading,
remarks, Q&A
Part Two
45 mins.

About the
Author
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"The book is enjoyable, it's valuable, it is controversial in places. But it is a history, which means it is one author's perspective on the past. The book is for readers who love the Monitor, who love journalism, and who love Christian Science. All of those will find it valuable." - John Yemma, Editor of The Christian Science Monitor, speaking at the book event in Boston sponsored by the MBE Library.

"As someone who worked as a writer for The Christian Science Monitor for 50 years, I have to say that Collins has produced a tremendously valuable book." - David R. Francis, Monitor business and financial editor, foreign correspondent, economic columnist, 1960 to 2011

"I am so, so grateful for Mr. Collins's book. I purchased 5 copies to offer to my friends, and it has been very well-received by all. Please convey to Mr. Collins for me that I feel his work expressess integrity in dealing with what could be perceived as a controversial subject, and yet expresses his generous love for the mission of The Christian Science Monitor, as established by Mary Baker Eddy, and what he reveals as its ordained place in the world. I have subscribed to it for over 20 years, have provided several gift subscriptions to friends and family, and utililize it in my Interfaith work in Las Vegas, so it is very dear to me, and Keith treated the subject with care and respect. Bravo! Thank you for the publication of this book. - M.L.A.

"My thoughts about this book are from the context of having read every one ever published on the subject! I've been wired to the Monitor for over sixty years, so I found much to relate to in this very readable story. I thought I knew all there was to know about the Monitor, but learned more about the fundamentals of the founder's plan and thinking for the paper than I had ever known or thought about before. Collins's thorough and balanced history is very readable even with all the solid research and interviews that never make it tedious. His narrative on what some call "Monitor journalism" and how it has evolved is most interesting. Readers of the various products of the Monitor today and those who are journalists or journalism students should glean much enlightenment from reading this fast moving story. The people involved over the years have made the Monitor what it is today and many back stories about them are shared. Collins finishes up with an insightful explanation of how the Monitor news organization is approaching its mission today. - D.K.M.


 

 

Editorial extract, April 30, 2012, Page 5, in The Christian Science Monitor. John Yemma, Monitor Editor:

For more than a century, the Monitor has chronicled humanity's journey. We do not flinch from writing about wars, repression, and corruption. As in our report from Myanmar, we also watch for progress. Why do we see that as the Monitor's mission? Keith Collins, a former Monitor staffer, has written a well-researched history of this newspaper that examines that question. The story he tells is valuable if you are a journalism buff, a Monitor fan, a Christian Scientist, or a person of any faith (or none) who wonders what drives this 104-year-old enterprise - which carries the name of a religious denomination but is widely accepted as a nondenominational source of thoughtful, accurate, world news.

Not every part of Mr. Collins's book, "The Christian Science Monitor: Its History, Mission, and People," will make everyone happy. As in any history, some facts and conclusions are arguable. I found this to be so in a section dealing with the internal tensions that led to the resignation of Kay Fanning as editor in 1988 and the subsequent rise and fall of an ambitious broadcasting venture.

Collins distills the central question facing the Monitor as this: Did Mary Baker Eddy found the Monitor as "mainly a good, public-spirited newspaper that represented a more constructive approach to journalism?" Or was it "not designed to make people comfortable so much as to upgrade how they thought, helping them become less fearful and selfish, more perceptive and generous?" He notes that throughout the Monitor's history, its editors, reporters, governing boards, subscribers, and members of the church have sincerely stood on both sides of that question. But why should it be either/or? Why not both/and? Public-spirited journalism and the decreasing of fear and selfishness are not mutually exclusive.

In any endeavor - from government to business, family to church - people disagree. But if motives are honest and noble, they have a divine source, which allows us to respect and value each other's best efforts.

Many readers will value and respect Collins's work. And who can argue with his conclusion - that the Monitor is not living up to its full potential? Like humanity itself, the Monitor can always do better.

The Christian Science Monitor, July 9, 2012, p39:
[It] is an extraordinary piece of work. I thought I knew all there was to know about the Monitor, but learned more about its founder's plan and thinking for the paper thanIhad ever known before. - D.M.

Spiritview blog January 2013:
If you have any interest in the history of The Christian Science Monitor, you might want to read a book recently published on the paper titled, “The Christian Science Monitor: Its History, Mission, and People,” by Keith S. Collins.

I feel much better informed about the paper’s history after reading the book, learning about the trials and tribulations it has faced over the decades, and why it continues to succeed.

Collins looks at the history of the paper mostly through the effect each editor had on the paper’s success. He starts with Eddy’s inception of the paper and her desire, “to injure no man, but to bless all mankind,” and then works his way through what he views each editor contributed, including analysis of how surrounding events in the church impacted the paper’s ability to function. He records a couple of near demises for the paper with colorful detail, celebrates periods of flourishing success, and caps it all off with an exposition on the unique contribution a Monitor journalist makes to world thought when looking at the news through the eyes of a spiritually-inspired perspective.

You can order the book at Nebbadoon Press