Global voices on progress: a special project of the Monitor Daily

This summer, the Monitor is collaborating with more than 50 newspapers worldwide to promote solutions journalism – and a more hopeful view of the world. 

David Goldman/AP

Welcome to a the Monitor’s Global Voices project, our collaboration with more than 50 news organizations worldwide to promote solutions journalism.

It began on June 16, Impact Journalism Day, when we all published stories from one another that focused on what humanity is doing right and with dignity. On Impact Journalism Day, we produced a special edition of the Monitor Daily with eight stories from our partners around the globe. During the summer, we'll publish eight more, so stay tuned.

In all our Global Voices stories – from Madagascar to Switzerland to Taiwan – you’ll see how the goodness and generosity you see in your own communities are universal.

To be honest, when Sparknews, the group that runs Impact Journalism Day, first reached out to us this spring, we’d never heard of the project before. But it didn’t take long to see how well it aligned with the Monitor’s founding mission “to bless all mankind.”

“Headlines tend to paint a bleak picture of our world: conflict, terrorism, hunger, climate change, social injustice – the list goes on. We are indeed facing complex and seemingly insurmountable challenges,” writes Christian de Boisredon, founder of Sparknews. “Yet the full picture also offers solutions and reasons for hope.”

The thirst for this fuller picture has become so strong that it is apparently breaking the laws of mathematics.

When The New York Times recently started a newsletter called The Week in Good News, it had an open rate of more than 100 percent. That means, not only did almost everyone who received it open it, but they opened it multiple times or shared it with friends.

Quite literally, they couldn’t get enough.

Think of this Impact Journalism Day newsletter as “This World in Good News.” And what I love most about the Monitor is that “good news” is not quarantined to a single day or newsletter, it animates everything we do.

Our “good news” is not a breather from the regular “bad news.” Even in situations as seemingly hopeless as violence in the Middle East or political polarization in the United States or human rights in China, the Monitor is always looking for ways forward, never accepting that the “broken” state is the permanent state.

In this task, the Monitor is privileged to be the only American news organization participating in Impact Journalism Day, and to share with our readers the seeds of constructive, hopeful journalism that are sprouting in every corner of the globe.

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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.