Our first century
A mandate to 'lighten' still drives the Monitor at the dawn of its second 100 years.
(Page 9 of 9)
An eventful chapter at the Monitor ended on June 27, 1997, when the Monitor's radio-broadcasting arm closed after 13 years of providing in-depth news and analysis to listeners around the globe. Outside the US, Monitor Radio was heard in Europe, Asia, and Africa over the two shortwave stations owned by the Church of Christ, Scientist. Both stations were later sold.Skip to next paragraph
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The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, dominated Paul Van Slambrouck's term as editor, which began in July 2001.
"Big news events often act as a magnifying glass, bringing the talents, experience, and philosophy of a news organization into razor-sharp focus for one instant," Mr. Van Slambrouck says. "The paper seemed to naturally coalesce around the central questions of the day, which were spelled out in a steady stream of reports, perhaps most notably in a report titled, 'Why Do They Hate Us?' Amid a sea of news coverage, what the Monitor did stood out and was noticed. Ninety-plus years of news gathering, plus a tradition of looking for the root causes of events, had come to bear at a moment when it mattered most."
Monitor cartoonist Clay Bennett would add a seventh Pulitzer in 2002.
Richard Bergenheim, who served as editor from 2005 to July 2008, was a relentless evangelist for digital content and delivery as the Monitor's future. This Web-first focus was on view in an opinion piece he wrote his first month on the job, calling the 1 million to 2 million readers who visited csmonitor.com each month at that time "probably the most significant development in the history of the Monitor."
The Monitor itself became a major news story in 2006 when Jill Carroll was captured and held hostage while covering the war in Iraq. She was released after 82 days. During the ambush when correspondent Carroll was captured, her translator, Allan Enwiya, was killed while trying to ward off Jill's kidnappers. Carroll's saga, and Enwiyah's murder, drew worldwide attention. Covering the tragedy while mounting an unrelenting effort to secure her release tested the Monitor's modest-sized staff as no other story has.
Under current editor John Yemma, the Monitor now prepares for a future where its daily coverage will be on the Web. What will not change is the commitment to values that caused Mrs. Eddy to say the day of the Monitor's launch was "the lightest of all days. This is the day when our daily paper goes forth to lighten mankind."
The mandate to lighten – to shed light upon, to relieve cares or woes – sets forth a standard unique in the world of journalism, a standard to which the Monitor remains committed.
"The Monitor's greatest achievement over many decades has been to leaven both journalism and world thought with ideals radically purer than its competitors'. The vision was to go far beyond simply making a profit out of news coverage," says Mr. Anable. "When the Monitor has hewed to its founding ideals of tough spiritual insight and unselfish love of all mankind, the Monitor has been a force for good both in the press and in the world. That is its proud heritage."
r Washington bureau chief David T. Cook was editor of the Monitor from 1994 to 2001. Prior to that he was editor of Monitor Broadcasting. Under his leadership, the Monitor underwent a major redesign, created daily special-interest sections, won a Pulitzer Prize for foreign reporting, and launched its website, CSMonitor.com.