The Monitor at 85: Where We've Been, Where We're Going

UNSATIATED by news reporting 85 years after Mary Baker Eddy founded this newspaper at Thanksgiving 1908, the Monitor's editors and staff herein report what we've been up to:

Where we've been: Since its founding, the Monitor has covered every war, peace, major election, or coup; we've reported on scientific advances from microscope to moon walk, the creative achievements that embellish civilization, and the family and personal arts that bring moral and intellectual stability to households and communities.

Where we're found: We are a worldwide presence in daily lives. In China, 200 people may read a single copy of this edition. During any fall or spring semester, as now, 10,000 college students may subscribe to the paper as part of a structured course of study. A newsmaker's comment at a Monitor Washington breakfast can dominate American news headlines for weeks. A Boston restaurateur takes up her Monitor for a late-night respite after a long day and evening with patrons. We are any place - convents, statehouses, prisons, barbershops, farm kitchens, libraries, dorms.

What we are: The Monitor has three masts: broadcast, print, and electronic publishing. As a newspaper, we are driven by news (the energized information about society's change), and we are printed on paper (which remains the simplest, most portable, most compact vehicle for news communication). We are an original source of news information: Four-fifths of our reportage is from our own staff and special reporters in two dozen reporting points around the world; one-fifth is from contributors in another three dozen countries. We are a technologically advanced newspaper: Stories, photos, and illustrations move along our own electronic highway and converge in a newsroom editorial production unit in a manner that could not have been anticipated even a decade ago. And we are broadcasters of daily radio programs heard across the United States and around the world.

How we differ: We have been from the start a classical newspaper in what we carry - economic, government, and cultural news, plus opinion and commentary. But our motive separates us: We are dedicated to the service of others; we don't seek power for its own sake. We look for the healing of ignorance, bigotry, injustice, rather than incite the wringing of hands. We affirm that society progresses despite often horrendous learning experiences; we do not fear that civilization is losing its way. We prefer to depict the family of man with our photos and illustrations rather than to reinforce any self-importance by promoting the elite who run things. Behind the commotion of events, we believe, is the stillness of God's creation.

Where we're going: In the decade ahead, say, we're going where the world's going. Society will have to generate gainful employment for those it is educating. Peoples who have had their identity repressed by unjust governments will still struggle for the cultural, religious, and geographic breathing room requisite for self-expression. The world will become even more ``global'': Trade barriers will remain under siege. Governments will be pressed to create meaningful economic opportunities at home or continue to see their best and brightest emigrate to the advanced democracies. Big corporations will become omninational; at the same time, small companies will proliferate and more individuals will operate as self-employed. As in the automobile industry, the competitive advantage will shift among the competing blocs as they learn from each other. Regions like the Middle East and Central America will want to develop economic condominiums as the logical alternative to war. Cuba, Haiti need to couple themselves to the train of modern democratic societies.

Cities must cease functioning as the bull pits of crime. The popular media and entertainment industry will have to displace violence and the most egregious emotions with space for that tenderness and resilience of character on which are built lifelong relationships.

At 85 and counting, the Monitor has an enormous curiosity about what is about to be.

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