Readers, we called and you have answered. On July 21, we invited you to answer the question, "How is the Monitor different?"
We've received nearly 400 responses from China, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, England, and all over the United States. They've come from universities, businesses, courthouses, libraries, and many, many homes.
We wanted testimonials from those who know the paper's benefits best. And now that we have them, new ideas for applying them are cropping up almost daily.
The responses are so good that a number are reprinted below. But we have something else to share in today's paper, too.
In today's edition you'll find an insert card with the heading, "For Readers of The Christian Science Monitor." This is not a standard subscription offer. It's a certificate you can use to let a friend try the Monitor for a month, free.
This experiment grows out of our dissatisfaction with direct mail. Most people sort their mail standing over the wastebasket, so the marketing pieces can tumble straight in.
It would be far better to let people try the paper long enough to get to know it. But that's expensive. We need to be sure the free copies will go to people who will read them and may then be likely to subscribe. It dawned on us that each Monitor reader might know at least one such person. Hence the card in today's paper - our gift to you, so you can give a gift to a friend who will value the Monitor's unique benefits.
And what are those benefits? Here are excerpts from the reader responses:
I never come away from the Monitor feeling a little dirty, that I've participated in the cheapening or sensationalizing of events. I come away feeling like a better-informed citizen. I come away feeling virtuous.
- Philip Dacey
Each year it becomes more critical for me as a voting member of a democracy to have a better source of information than the biases of the mainstream media. The Monitor provides such a source. I just can't give it up.
- Grace Low
Reading the Monitor is like being spoken to rather than shouted at.
- Kathi Sommers
The most bias-free of all news sources. It is a sad world in which only a church-owned newspaper can have a statement of purpose like the Monitor has.
- Th.W. Ruijgrok
It is not the quality of the writing that draws my commendation but the ever-present sense of morality. The Monitor remains a beacon for reporting with a social and moral conscience. I find it astonishing and wonderful.
- Marcia Pope
I have never read anything that provides a more concise summary of the factors which drive current events. Almost daily I encounter articles about critically important issues that I never see in a standard newspaper or news magazine. I can barely stand to read either anymore. I feel like I'm wasting my time. The Monitor is so rewarding.
- Jon Godfroy
News presentation in the Monitor encourages me to live; news presentation by the conventional media makes me wonder why I bother.
- Douglas R. Switzer
(The Monitor is) the most outstanding newspaper of social discernment in the world.
- Yu-Tang D. Lew
I'm trying to figure out why I trust the CSM more than any other news publication, and I think that my feeling has something to do with your non ideological commitment to trying to find ways to resolve problems, your readiness to see moral dimensions in life without arguing that moral responses are always clear or easy, and your optimism.
- Reed Browning
The Monitor is different from other news sources because it can be trusted. The Monitor's first principle is to inform - clearly, completely, and calmly - and it places principle above profit and power.
It's a news source of integrity and honor. Thank you for it.
- Lynn Olson
Though not a Christian Scientist, I cannot imagine being without the Monitor.
After exposure to the up-and-down twaddle of TV, I revel in the fair, unbiased reporting. Emerging from these pages, there is a feeling of the goodness of life, too.
- Mary K. Campbell
The Monitor is different in that it provides quiet, dignified, disinterested, in-depth, broad reporting of the news worldwide.
The name "Christian Science Monitor" doesn't bother me in the least. I do recommend the CSM to others even though I don't count myself Christian.
- Andrew Donovan-Shead
Nonpartisan. Neither left nor right. Inclusive and respectful of competing ideas without being value-neutral. Quirky! Intellectually stimulating! Humorous! Thoughtful! Insightful! Caring.
It seems your editors are attempting to leave readers not just informed, but educated, without being instructed on what to think.
- William R. Barker
The Monitor is everything that more of modern journalism should be. It caters to the healthiest of news-related appetites in people, with honest, balanced, intelligent, and insightful reporting that always looks to a bigger picture surrounding the events it covers.
- Scott Nikolai
Choosing these few was difficult because there are so many more that are equally intelligent, insightful, and sincere. For those who would like to see more, a larger selection can be viewed on the Monitor's Website at http:/www.csmonitor.com/readers/reply.html
(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society