Readers react to Monitor's coming Web focus
I will greatly miss having the daily print version of the Monitor. For decades, the Monitor has rested in a prime location where I could pick it up to read, clip articles to share, or slip it in my purse to peruse on trains, planes, or in waiting rooms. I knew intellectual and spiritual inspiration was always at hand and in my hands.
We are all being driven to the Internet for more and more activities. I never relish the idea of sitting before the screen, but I will print out the e-mail versions of the Monitor and hope to find some semblance of my cherished reading habits.
I congratulate the Monitor on its new focus on electronic publishing. About a year ago, I switched to the "Treeless" electronic version, and found it easy to navigate. I enjoy the same look and feel of the print version, and consume less paper in the process.
During a visit to the Monitor in 1997, I was impressed by a quote on display in the newsroom from former editor Erwin Canham, in which he said, "Swift as is the bulletin, graphic as is the television eyewitness picture, the task of adding meaning and clarity remains urgent." His words from 1958 are no less relevant today.
At a time when local newspapers have largely sacrificed their commitment to providing context and perspective on today's events, the Monitor's future role becomes all the more critical. I turn to the Monitor for analysis I cannot find locally.
I wish the Monitor good luck in achieving that goal as it ventures into its new medium.
I commend the Monitor on its far-seeing decision to retire the daily print edition in favor of a new Web strategy.
Not only does it make financial sense; and not only does it indicate a recognition of current and future news trends that reflects well on the Monitor's independence, courage, and vigor; but most of all, this positions the Monitor ideally to fulfill its mission given these trends.
That is, the Web today is increasingly the vehicle for an astonishingly broad and swift cascade of voices and experiences. While this has certainly empowered masses at an individual level to publish "one-to-many," the problems of traditional journalism remain: how to preserve balance, fairness, and perspective; how to sensibly aggregate all this global data; and most important, how to dampen the spurious spikes in reader attention driven by sensationalism.
I expect the Monitor will attract even more recognition as a haven and oasis in the clamor of the Web, a sorely needed haven, just as print journalism needed the Monitor when Mary Baker Eddy established it.
John Van Pelt
former associate editor of design for the Monitor
I'm very sorry to hear that I will be losing an old friend next spring when the daily print Monitor will no longer appear in my mailbox.
I read the Monitor over breakfast and over lunch, while working out in the gym and while walking (it's the perfect size). I am not sure how I will entertain and educate myself during my workouts without it.
Reading the daily Monitor online will not be the same, even if the content is identical. I just like the feel of a newspaper in my hands. The Monitor's coverage of the world and its perspective on news are ideal, so I'll try to adapt my reading schedule.
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