The Christian Science Monitor has published its final daily print edition, dated March 27.
The key words in that sentence are "daily print." As of today, we are shedding print on a daily basis. But the Monitor itself – the century-old journalistic enterprise chronicling the world's challenges and progress – is becoming more daily than ever. And with the launch of our new weekly print edition, the Monitor is becoming more vital than ever.
No longer inked on wood pulp, no longer trucked from printing plants to your mailbox, no longer published only five days a week, the daily Monitor is now a dynamic online newspaper on all days.
We've been moving in this direction for more than a decade.
Two million individuals now engage with us online each month, about 40 times the number that have been subscribing to the print daily. We are linked deeply and extensively across the Internet. People who never picked up our newspaper read Christian Science Monitor articles online, listen to our audiocasts, and view our photo- and video-journalism.
The online Monitor responds to events as they unfold. Our website also features timely editorials and commentary, articles on arts, culture, books, Home Forum essays, and, as has been the case since its founding, the daily inspirational article.
Complementing our 24/7 online Monitor is a new print weekly, the first issue of which will be in subscribers' mailboxes in two weeks.
Why a weekly print publication? Print still works at that frequency. Print is for sitting back, taking a break from the Web, thinking more deeply about ideas and issues.
Also under development is a daily news briefing that will highlight top stories and be available via e-mail. You can subscribe to the weekly now (click here) and soon to the daily briefing. The website remains free of charge.
Our three formats – Web, weekly, and e-mail – constitute today's version of the international daily newspaper that Mary Baker Eddy founded in 1908.
Think of it this way: We are putting on new clothes for a new era, but we are the same Monitor, committed to the same objective we have adhered to since we were launched a century ago: "to injure no man but to bless all mankind."
We are making this shift to keep the Monitor relevant and to move our journalistic mission toward financial sustainability.
To survive in today's business environment, newspapers everywhere are taking radical steps. Some are decreasing the frequency of print. Some are now Web-only. Some have shut down or surrendered to receivership.
Well before I joined the staff last summer, Monitor personnel were systematically studying conditions in the news industry. They prototyped and tested, surveyed readers and consulted advertisers. Having done our due diligence, we are ready to make the leap. There will be challenges ahead, but the path before us has been carefully planned.
Saying goodbye to daily print closes an era. Click here for recollections by some of our illustrious Monitor alums. Their work and the work of hundreds of others has been the practical demonstration of our mission. Like them, I will miss the physical daily paper.
As a kid, I discovered the wider world in part by reading my local newspaper as I folded my predawn deliveries.
Eighty front porches in my neighborhood in Austin, Texas, got the morning paper. I learned sales and customer service. I learned not to surprise foraging skunks or sleeping dogs.
I eventually became a "newspaperman." Across 35 years of a journalism career, I have grown to love the "daily miracle" of making a newspaper – the foreign correspondent on a lonely assignment in Afghanistan, tethered by phone to an assignment editor in Boston, gathering information, crafting a story, dispatching it to headquarters. The editors weighing its merits, verifying its facts, racing toward deadline, and publishing to the wider world.
For readers, the daily print Monitor has been a friend in the home, a steady and reliable source of information about the world.
We are still that friend. You can find us in print weekly and online instantly, with the same commitment to freedom and progress we have always had.
We are wearing new clothes, but we remain your Christian Science Monitor.