No sane newspaper would currently want to be even obliquely associated with The News of the World, given the current expose of some of its news-gathering habits. And the content of the Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper The Christian Science Monitor – with its motto “To injure no man, but to bless all mankind” – is quite possibly as far away as you can get from some of the materials on offer on an average Sunday in the sister paper of Rupert Murdoch’s Sun.
That was not, however, apparent to some of our American cousins who devised an ad campaign, a few decades back, to promote the Monitor in the UK on the side of black cabs with the slogan “Buy The Christian Science Monitor, read the news of the world!”
This might have been a clever sales ploy, had it been designed to advertise a means for embarassed News of the World readers to disguise their reading habits. Or it could have been a kind of let-off for highbrow readers who conscientiously purchased the Monitor but found themselves inexplicably drawn to the red tops for their actual news intake…
But, alas, no. It was seriously promoting a fact that the Monitor can still rightly be proud of, that it is committed to global reporting. (It is one of the scarce US-based publications to have kept the majority of its foreign reporters.) It is renowned for its non-sensationalised approach to journalism and for investigating the deeper stories behind the headlines. This is so in tune with many people’s (unexpressed?) desires that e-circulation has increased from 1.5 million to 8.5 million unique visitors in just over a year, resulting in almost 30 million monthly page views.
Given that desire for more obvious evidences of ethically grounded news coverage – which the current scandal is doubtless escalating – perhaps News International’s Rebekah Brooks should opt for a new ad campaign of their own…
“Buy The News of the World, READ The Christian Science Monitor!”
You never know, Rebekah and Rupert, it might just work!
Here are today’s headlines in The Christian Science Monitor.