A new Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor you have in your hands today reflects a balance between tradition and progress. We hope you find it both fresh andcomfortable - a newly styled but familiar companion for sorting through today's ideas and events.

Most of the style and format changes are self-evident. Overall they are intended to make the paper visually crisper, the divisions of news, commentary, and features more distinct. The front-page stories for the most part carry over to the back page - former home of these columns - for convenience. Inside, the reader finds on Page 2 a ''road map,'' or contents guide, to the day's Monitor, and an expanded summary of world events. The major news and commentary divisions - national, international, business, and opinion/editorial - follow in separate sections. Then come the feature divisions, now called ''ideas,'' ''arts and leisure,'' and ''home and family.'' Newspaper design students will notice subtler changes in headline, layout, and graphic detail. The redesign should give the reader a more clearly structured, inviting, and enjoyable paper.

This new Monitor is rooted in the Monitor of the past. For instance, the newspaper's nameplate on Page 1 is actually a slightly updated version of the Monitor's original nameplate of three quarters of a century ago. The sheaf-of-grain logo atop Page 1 is repeated on this page, where it has appeared almost without interruption since the first edition. The placing of the biblical motto ''First the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear'' (from Mark 4:28, American Standard Version) beneath the editorial page title was originally approved by Mary Baker Eddy, founder of this newspaper.

The motto, with its visual implications, reflects the original purpose of the Monitor to seek out and emphasize what leads to healing and progress for mankind. Said one of those charged with putting out the first Monitor: ''We were instructed to devote our efforts to making as interesting as possible all events of intrinsic merit and permanent value.''

Another significant change has been to combine the previous four regional editions into one national edition. Carrying advertising from all regions means a substantially larger Monitor, with more news and feature content for each reader. Ads from all regions of the country will aid the reader's sense of sharing in a newspaper read all across the United States as well as in many other countries. They are also testimony to the fact that the American working public is highly mobile, and that Americans of all ages are apt to be traveling to areas far from their hometowns.

From broadsheet to compact and now, in its 75th year, to a newer appearance, the Monitor continues to look ahead and to fulfill the admonition of its founder that all the periodicals of The Christian Science Publishing Society be ''ably edited and kept abreast of the times.'' It also continues to try to fulfill its original mission, ''. . . to injure no man, but to bless all mankind.'' It does this by penetrating the mental attitudes of suspicion, fear, apathy, and self-centeredness, and replacing them with a recognition of the true worth of each one of us and a desire to find a higher level of thinking and acting.

We hope you find in the new Monitor both its serious traditional mission and the vigor, even the joy, we find today as we observe and analyze what's happening at our own era's leading edge.

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