History of Newspapers: The Christian Science Monitor Part 1

About the history of the United States newspaper The Christian Science Monitor, information and some of their scoops.


The Past. The Christian Science Monitor was founded in 1908 by Mary baker Eddy, who was the originator of Christian Science, a religion baseed on spiritual healing and the belief that there is higher reality above evil, pain, and sickness. The purpose of the paper, according to Mrs. Eddy, was "to injure no man, but to bless all mankind." It was not intended as a house organ for the Church.

The paper's 1st editor was Archibald McCleallan, a lawyer. Its 1st managing editor was Alexander Dodds, a high-energy practical joker and fire buff. He liked fires to such a degree that he had a fire alarm signal in the newsroom and insisted that every fire had some kind of positive purpose.

In the 1st issues of the paper were stories on army tests on the Wright brothers' airplane, a series on increased yields of corn, a discussion of the Balkan crisis in the framework of political economics, and articles on truth in advertising, conservation, the invention of the hair dryer, and the development of the Pure Food and Drug Act. These stories were typical of those published by the Monitor; they were based on an intense interest in science, a desire to present the news thoughtfully, and the wish to deal with lasting issues. The 1st issues also included naive jokes.

During its 1st year, the paper did place some emphasis on Christian Science news. This ended in April, 1909.

Mrs. Eddy died in 1910 and fro then until the early 1920s, the Monitor reporters had to work within stringent limitations: a vegue rule to write what some called "sweetness and light" and more specific taboos against such subjects as jazz bands and ballroom dancing.

From 1910 on, the paper published an international edition, in keeping with its world view of the news and issues. In 1917, the subtitle "an International Daily Paper" was added to the mashead.

throughout the years, the paper has employed some colorful characters and excellent writers: Demarest Lloyd, who went on assignment in a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce; Roscoe Drummond; Margaret Lee Runbeck, who later became a novelist; Joseph C. Harsch Cora Rigby, founder of the Women's National Press Club; and many others.

In 1965, the paper underwent a transformation: a new 5-column layout, different and larger type face, and the use of more photographs and artwork.

Though the paper has remained politically independent, it has supported the cause of peace, with one exception: W. W. II. It very early alienated many German Christian Scientists by warning the world against Hitler, and throughout the war it supported the Allies.

The Monitor came out in favor of Herbert Hoover in 1928, mainly because of his pro-Prohibition stand, and was against a 3rd term for Roosevelt because his administration had emphasized deficit spending, centralized power, and social experiment.

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