A new form for the CS Perspective in the Daily

In the spirit of evolving the Monitor Daily toward the clearest statement of the Monitor’s mission, changes are coming to the Christian Science Perspective starting on Jan. 22.

John Kehe

The spark that created The Christian Science Monitor Daily was a simple thought: We can do better. Starting on Monday, Jan. 22, you’ll begin to see how this thinking is now being applied to the Christian Science Perspective.

What’s going to be different?

Audio. The audio version of the Perspective will now include the full version of the article (not just the short read), and it will be read by the actual author, whenever possible. Given that this will make the Perspective audio significantly longer than any of the other news items, we are taking it out of the audio edition of the Daily, where it would be disproportionate to the rest of the package. So how will you access the Perspective audio? When you're in the Daily, simply click on the blue "Read or listen" button below the Perspective headline to expand the full article. The audio player will be right there. 

The short read. We felt that, while the short reads work well for our news items, they too often did the Perspective an injustice. So we’re removing the short version of the Perspective and just including a short sentence or two to encapsulate the spiritual thrust of that day’s Perspective. As always, you will be able to read the full version in the Daily by clicking the blue “read” button.

More variety. We are looking forward to creating new forms for the Perspective. In addition to the articles readers are already familiar with, we’re considering essays or poems that evoke deep spiritual themes, audio blogs similar to the form of the Daily Lift, and testimonies. There are other ideas we hope to share as they develop, and we also welcome suggestions from you!

As editor, I’ve talked to many readers of all backgrounds who find light and hope in the Perspective. The idea is not to diminish that in any degree, but to unleash it further. We hope these new forms will not only provide freshness, but also create a closer bond between the Monitor and its readers. The Monitor’s purpose is to witness the power and operation of good. As you see that in your own life, you share in and fulfill the Monitor’s mission. We see the Perspective as such a natural place to explore and record that mutual blessing.

When we started the Daily, we made a commitment to always keep evolving and improving. And you, the readers, are a major part of that. Going forward, as always, you will help us determine what works and what doesn’t. We look forward to hearing from you.

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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.