Delivering our very best

Consider this a mailbag of some of the other questions we’ve been hearing, questions you might be asking as well, about the Monitor’s newest publication.

John Kehe

In a few recent columns, I’ve tried to address some of the questions that have arisen since the launch of The Christian Science Monitor Daily in May, including why we created it, why the CSMonitor.com home page changed, and how the Daily and Weekly fit together. 

So consider this a mailbag of some of the other questions we’ve been hearing, questions you might be asking as well, about the Monitor’s newest publication.

Why is the Daily delivered in the evening?

Some readers say they prefer a morning read. The old Daily News Briefing – which the Daily replaced – was delivered at 6 a.m. Eastern time every weekday. Why change?

The fact is, the DNB (as we called it) was finished every evening by 6 or 7 p.m. Then it sat for 12 hours before we sent it. By contrast, we’re sending out the Daily immediately after it’s finished, so that it’s as fresh and timely as possible, addressing that day’s biggest news in a Monitor way. By sending it in the evening, the Daily, including its audio edition, is also available for evening commutes in the United States and Canada.

Going forward, we hope to let customers set their own preferred delivery time.

What happened to all the other Monitor content?

For those who frequented CSMonitor.com, the Daily’s five stories may seem to be a dramatic downscaling of content. That’s true, and it’s not.

The Daily is part of a broader rethink at the Monitor. In a crowded media landscape where so much news is available free of charge, we decided that we needed to focus our efforts on what we are uniquely positioned to do. In other words: No one else can be the Monitor, so let’s put all our energy into producing distinctly Monitor journalism.

That has meant cutting back on other efforts. We’ve dramatically reduced the number of wire stories we run on CSMonitor.com, as well as the volume of stories written by interns. We’ve also stopped carrying guest blogs.

Even before the transition to the Daily, the Monitor was producing about five staff-written news stories a day, along with wire stories and some features. Now, we can put far more firepower into these staff news stories, making them deeper and more satisfying.

Is all the Daily content on CSMonitor.com?

Individual stories are, for the time being, accessible on CSMonitor.com free of charge. But the premium elements of the Daily, such as the editor intros that knit together the day’s news, the shortened 30-second reads of the stories, the audio edition, some videos and graphics, and the Daily’s ad-free presentation, are only available through a subscription to the Daily. (Interested? Go to CSMonitor.com and click on the “Subscribe” button on the upper right.)

Later this year, we hope to offer a new pricing structure that will allow readers to sustainably support whichever part of the Monitor they most value, whether it’s the Weekly, the Daily, CSMonitor.com – or any combination of the three.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.