An Uplifting Approach to News Coverage: The Christian Science Monitor
Do you ever feel burdened by the doom and gloom portrayed in the media? Calamities reported in the daily news such as violence, discrimination, terrorism, natural disaster, and health crises (to name a few) make it easy to feel overwhelmed. Some days it sounds better to bury our heads in the sand rather than confront the challenges facing our world.Unless there’s another way to keep up with current events. While I do not advocate ignoring the immense issues affecting people and places across the globe, I do believe there is a more balanced approach to reporting and reading the news. Without undermining serious problems, we can also consider the stories of those people who are making big and small changes to improve the lives of others. Instead of feeling despondent, we can be reminded of the positive contributions that are being made every day but are seldom reported by mainstream news outlets.One source that is striving to deliver a brighter outlook is the Christian Science Monitor. Founded in 1908 by Mary Baker Eddy, she established its mission, “to injure no man, but to bless all mankind.” At a time when the sensational attacks of yellow journalism were rampant, Eddy identified the need for neutral and well-researched news coverage, a demand that remains relevant today. In the 100+ years since then, the Monitor has won seven Pulitzer Prizes, living up to its high standard of credibility. As the current Editor, Marshall Ingwerson, writes, “At the Monitor, we’re committed to providing the most illuminating, non-partisan reporting possible. That will never change. However, we’re also interested in providing paths to deeper understanding and action for readers who’ve been inspired to combine their reading of the news with an ability to act in a way that is meaningful and unique to them.”How is the Monitor serving to elucidate events and simultaneously inspire its readers? The Monitor includes a number of unique tools that highlight the good things that are going on.It has a full section in its print and online edition called “People Making a Difference.” Here, you can read about Change Agents and Difference Makers, in other words, “ordinary people taking action for extraordinary change.” Each week it features individuals and organizations from around the world that are working for the betterment of humanity. A recent article profiles Om Khaled, a Syrian woman who is helping to educate and inspire thousands of women in her community.Another section titled “Progress Watch” records instances of global improvement rather than decline. One report discusses how women’s rights and education have made substantial gains in Afghanistan over the past decade, and addresses the need for continued development.In a “Path to Progress” article earlier this month, the Monitor showcased a group of former radicals who have created a network of support to help others make the transition out of extremism. These individuals once belonged to violent groups of white supremacists or jihadists, and they use the power of storytelling to bring stability to their lives and to prevent further suffering.A new initiative called “The Redirect,” aims to shift the conversation from a fearful basis to a hopeful one. It currently displays quotes, statistics, and evidence that help assuage the widespread fear of religious extremism and correct common misconceptions about its connection with Islam.For those who are tired of seeing exclusively desperate headlines and are seeking a refreshing perspective, I encourage you to try the Christian Science Monitor. It is possible to stay up-to-date on the news and feel buoyant!