A guest post written by Susan Y. Berry
The Christian Science Monitor, winner of 7 Pulitzer Prizes, is the news source of choice of my family for three generations. I grew up with the newspaper version, which has now become a wonderful weekly magazine of news and in-depth articles. The Monitor sheds the light of truth on national and world events. Today, I also read The Christian Science Monitor Daily News Briefing.
The Monitor is known for its honesty, integrity, and accuracy in reporting the news from the US and around the globe. This enables me to know what needs thoughtful and immediate solutions, especially in times of crisis – as in the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Originally established in 1908 by Mary Baker Eddy, The Monitor was in response to the need for something better than the sensationalistic tabloid-style of reporting, known as “Yellow Journalism.” The Monitor is still responding with principled journalism and providing an alternative to today’s tabloid “news.” It is a truly independent voice in journalism, founded by a truly independent woman in a time when women were not yet able to vote.
According to biographer Robert Peel, Eddy’s reason for giving the paper its name was it “was an identification of the paper with the promise that no human situation was beyond healing or rectification if approached with sufficient understanding of man’s God-given potentialities. Nor did the ‘good news’ of Christianity involve the prettification of bad news, but rather, its confident confrontation.”
In 1990, Nelson Mandela surprised the Monitor’s newsroom during his first trip to America. In “Monitor Writers celebrate ‘Unique’ Moments,” Faye Bowers tells of this special event. “The day before, hundreds of thousands of people had turned out to see him on the Esplanade along the Charles River, to celebrate his recent release from a South African prison. Now he said he wanted to see the place where that famous lady (Mary Baker Eddy) started her own religion as well as newspaper.”
The Editor of the Monitor, Dick Cattani, was notified that Mandela was there and quickly came down to meet him.
Bowers continues, “He gave Mandela a tour of The Mother Church as well as a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which Mandela insisted he sign. He mentioned during the visit that the Monitor was the only international paper he had been allowed to read in prison, although major parts were redacted. He marveled that a woman not only started this paper, but this religion, noting it could only happen in the US.”