About the publication
Title: The Christian Science Monitor
Purpose, objective, or mission: An independent international news organization, the aim of which is to “embrace the human family, shedding light with the conviction that understanding the world’s problems and possibilities moves us towards solutions.”2 Though owned by the Christian Science church, the Monitor purports to be secular in its reporting save for one “clearly labeled religious article” published each weekday.3
“We want to help you to see news events as starting points for constructive conversations. We seek to cut through the froth of the political spin cycle to underlying truths and values. We want to be so focused on progress that together we can provide a credible and constructive counter-narrative to the hopelessness-, anger-, and fear-inducing brand of discourse that is so pervasive in the news.” 4
“We are not about promoting any specific set of policies, actions or ideologies. The founder of the Monitor was convinced that what reaches and affects thought ultimately shapes experiences and moves our world forward. News, therefore, should be thought-provoking, trustworthy, and engaging.” 5
Target audience: General public. “The Monitor assumes its readers are people who care, who want to care, regardless of their religious or political mindset.”6
Publisher: The First Church of Christ, Scientist.7
Peer reviewed? No.8
Type: Civilian publication.
Content: Independent national and international news, articles, book reviews, op-eds, essays, and letters to the editor.10
About the publication’s submission guidelines
Location of submission guidelines: http://www.csmonitor.com/About/Contributor-guidelines
Types of contributions accepted: The Monitor accepts articles on national and international news, personal essays, short poems, book reviews, letters to the Editor, and articles on People Making a Difference. 11
Here are some details about some of the contributions:
International News Contributor Guidelines: Departments include Europe/Baltics/Russia, Asia and Africa, Middle East, and Latin America. 12
“We are interested in a variety of pieces, from 500-word news stories to longer news analysis and news feature pieces for our weekly magazine. We want stories to cover the ‘who, what, when, where, why’ but we expect stories to focus on the ‘why.’ The goal here is to either explain the broader meaning of an event or to explain what’s at stake. We are particularly interested in understanding the ways of thinking or perspectives that are driving your story.” 13
National News Contributor Guidelines: Departments include U.S. Regional News, Justice, and Religion, US Politics, Economy, Education and Culture, and Science/Technology/Environment. 14
“We’re interested in stories of national import from all over the country. We want to stay on top of what is in the news – and in public thought – as much as possible, but there’s also an opportunity for news features with a sense of place. Regardless of the setting or situation, though, we look for history and an eye for detail that show what makes peoples and places the way they are, influencing events.” 15
The Home Forum:
“The Home Forum is looking for upbeat, personal essays from 400 to 800 words. We also welcome short poems. All material must be original and previously unpublished. For seasonal material, be aware that if you submit something that is about a particular month, holiday, event (back to school, graduation), or season, we need to receive it a minimum of six weeks ahead. We accept essays on a wide variety of subjects, and encourage timely, newsy topics. However, we don’t deal with the topics of death, aging and disease.” 16
A Christian Science Perspective:
“This is the column where the theology and practice of Christian Science are discussed in articles that respond to events in the news as well as those that address everyday issues such as companionship, comfort, home, work, relationships, the healing of physical ailments, and dealing with difficult financial times.” 17
People Making a Difference:
“We’re interested in stories about people who are making a positive difference all over the world, working on solutions to problems from hunger and education to the rights of people with disabilities. These profiles, approximately 1,200 words in length, should include an in-depth, in-person interview with the subject. We’ll also want to learn why the individual is so passionate about his or her work as well as gain an understanding of the problem he or she is trying to solve.” 18
Submission and review process: Submissions are welcomed on a continual basis. The Monitor website asks that articles be targeted to their specific departments and guidelines be followed based on the specific section’s editorial teams. Editors attempt to respond to submissions quickly but are often inundated. If your article is time sensitive please call this to the attention of the editor. 19
Editorial tone: Journalistic to conversational.
Style guide used: None specified.
Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors
Due to the clear contributor guidelines, the volume of freelance work they consume, and the forward approach to covering the world’s news, the Monitor is a promising publication to consider when writing about libraries for the general public. They often cover issues of interest to information professionals and concerning information access. Past articles include a report on a library being created in a small village in Vietnam, the limits being placed on library e-books, Google Books, and membership libraries. The most recent article published in 2020, Pandemic pen pals: How Colombian libraries lift spirits, discusses how libraries are providing services in the wake of COVID-19.
About the publication’s readers
Publication circulation: approximately 50,000 subscribers.20
Audience location and language or cultural considerations: The majority of readership is located in the US, although content covers international news so some international readership is likely.
Reader characteristics: The Monitor attracts both readers with religious affiliations and those who do not. Their audience includes, “anyone who cares about the progress of the human endeavor around the world and seeks news reported with compassion, intelligence, and an essentially constructive lens.” 21
Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Range would include professionals, but your audience would most likely be individuals who do not understand LIS subject matter and field jargon.
Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors
The readers of the Monitor, in reviewing the articles of the publication, appear to be educated, open-minded and well-read. This is the same audience that often supports and recognizes the value of libraries, making this a potentially place to promote libraries, the work they do, and the challenges they face within communities around the world. Readers of this publication are looking for stories that tie into national and global perspectives, including social, cultural, economical, and environmental issues, all of which have context within the field of LIS.
Last updated: September 20, 2020