Readers write: Thoughts on new Heart of the News section

Letters to the editor for the Oct. 29, 2018 weekly magazine.

Alfredo Sosa/The Christian Science Monitor
Owen Thomas, editor of The Christian Science Monitor Weekly proofs pages on May 16, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Thoughts on new Heart of the News section

I’ve just finished reading the Heart of the News in the Sept. 10 issue. I actually read most of the section without realizing there had been a change. Yet I instinctively felt there was something different about the articles. On page 14, I found your “What do you think?” question box. 

Where I see the difference most prominently is the change in the first few articles: They were not a rehash of the events I already knew about from the previous week. 

One of the many things I appreciate about The Christian Science Monitor Weekly is the reporting from parts of the world I rarely hear about. Some of the One Week in the News articles did that, but many were telling me news I had already gotten from other sources.

Thank you for continuing to improve the way you bring me news!

Mary Gawel-Ensroth

Troy, Mich.

On Heart of the News – the articles seem longer but fewer. Is that good?

Mary Lou Peckham

Fort Collins, Colo.

I was surprised at first to see that you decided to scrap the One Week in the News section of the Weekly Print Edition. However, after reading the new segment I am a convert.  

All the articles in the Heart of the News are interesting and I’m now a fan. 

Keep up the good work! I’ve been reading the Monitor every week for more than three years now, and I love the good work you all do.

Tim Crump

Carmichael, Calif.

I love the additional depth you have added to the stories in the Heart of the News section each week. It helps clarify why that particular story is important and how good is being spread in our ever-changing world.

Keep up the great reporting!

John Challenger

Irvine, Calif.

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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.