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Where we are going together next

We aim to explore the news in a new way so that you might begin to think differently about the world.

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In recent years, our readers have seen this weekly continuously evolve. We’ve added the global Points of Progress spread. We’ve taken down the walls between US and World news and brought a livelier diversity to those pages. And we’ve expanded our coverage of People Making a Difference and Global Newsstand.

But more fundamentally, we hope you’ve noticed our voice becoming ever more distinct. We’re opening a window on the world that you can’t find consistently anywhere else.

Take this week’s cover story. Global poverty is falling in a big way – faster in the past 20 years than at any time in history. The rise of hundreds of millions of people into a world of literacy, connectivity, and enough to eat is arguably the biggest story on the planet.

What drives our difference is how we see you, our reader. You as someone who cares, not just about your own private circle, but about the larger human endeavor and its progress toward peace and prosperity. That may sound a little grand. But, really, when you think about it, isn’t that you?

So we’re taking what the Monitor has always done best and getting better at it. A few basic aims: We want to be so fair, so generous in our viewpoint, that you begin to understand even people you may not like. We want to be so focused on progress that we find legitimate counter-narratives to the fear that is so pervasive and so often inflated. And we want to link the news to the way you think – how you see yourselves, how you see “the other,” and the forces you see at work in the world – so you might begin to see how you could think differently.

In coming months, we plan to concentrate on bringing light and clarity to critical themes such as extremism in politics and religion, the inequality that is rising in high-tech economies, and the trust deficit that undermines government. We’ll dig deep on these themes, because it will make both the challenges we face and the progress we’re making more coherent, clear, and comprehensible.

In the meantime, you will see some new features in this week’s issue – features we’ve added largely because of what we’ve heard from you.

Here’s a preview:
More-compelling graphics. Check out that soccer-ball-looking bit of data visualization with the Briefing on page 17. That’s a Voronoi graphic. Expect more alternative approaches to presenting numbers.

Voices of everyday difference-makers. We’ve introduced you to hundreds of “people making a difference.” Now, through a partnership with Encore.org, an organization that promotes “second acts for the greater good,” you’ll hear directly from its unretiring members about the hows and whys of their difference-making work (see page 44).

A news-quiz crossword. Some of you may have just come around to forgiving us for dropping our earlier puzzle. Well, the game is once again afoot – this time with news in the clues (see page 46).

Some elements, by the way, simply don’t need recharging: John Yemma returns to this space next week.

You can reach me, as always, at editor@csmonitor.com. You can also follow and tweet at Clayton Collins, Weekly edition editor, at @CSMWeeklyClay.

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