'Customized' news available via Monitor

Readers now have enhanced choices about the way they receive their news from the Electronic Edition of The Christian Science Monitor, as the paper rolls out its new Monitor Extra edition this week.

Starting today, the Monitor is offering a personalized edition, available to readers via their computers.

This new service will let readers customize their editions of the Monitor to meet their particular interests and schedules, says Denise Mallett, product manager for the Monitor's Electronic Edition.

Subscribers will be able to:

* Receive a personalized edition on their own special Web page.

* Receive their Monitor via e-mail, with or without pictures.

* Use, at no charge, the Monitor's extensive archive of stories dating back to 1980. (For others, archive stories will cost $1.50 each to download.)

Monitor Extra replaces the current e-mail edition of the paper.

In addition to Monitor Extra, the full Electronic Edition of The Christian Science Monitor will still be available on the Monitor's Web site at www.csmonitor.com.

The cost of the new e-mail edition of the paper is $5.95 a month for a regular subscription, $4.95 for students and teachers, and $3.95 for people who also get the daily print edition of the paper. Subscribers can pay monthly, using a credit card.

Monitor Extra "allows subscribers to customize the type of news they receive," says Ms. Mallett. For example, they can use 40 keywords (or use words of their own choosing) to specify which stories they want sent to them, such as only articles involving Iraq or the US economy. They can also ask for entire sections of the paper, such as book reviews or Work & Money.

In addition to controlling story selection, the service allows readers of the electronic Monitor to read the paper without tying up their phone lines.

Monitor Extra arrives via e-mail and can be downloaded into a personal computer, then read off-line. Readers can also specify whether Monitor Extra arrives at their computer doorstep daily or weekly.

Subscription information about Monitor Extra is available on the Internet at www.monitorextra.com, or my.csmonitor.com. There is also a link to the Electronic Edition on the regular Monitor page, at www.csmonitor.com.

Monitor Extra will eventually include local weather and sports scores, says Mallett. Meantime, she says she's eager to hear from people about other features they would like to see. She can be reached via e-mail: denise@csmonitor.com

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