After a four year hiatus, I am once again a subscriber to the Christian Science Monitor. As I have shared in earlier posts, newspapers are an important part of my family's heritage. The newspaper was a family activity--not like a game the whole family could play, but as a valued contribution to the well being of the household. This was especially true in my Gram and Granddad's house. The clergy proverb about the importance of "a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other" resonated with me in my growth as a homiletical practitioner.
I would love to have a conversation about the declining influence of newspapers in the information age with my Granddad if he were still alive. I would also let him know that the Monitor was better than his beloved Time magazine. As a student of the Journalism School at the University of Washington, he proudly stated that Time magazine was one of his textbooks. I think since Time has become a corporate whore over the years, he found the publication more difficult to defend--I remember Granddad questioned my interest in the Monitor--it was somehow sacrilege to him, much like my study of Russian at the University of Kansas. I told him I was going to be a foreign correspondent for Time, for Pete's sake! Was that not enough? Secretly I wanted to work for the New York Times as I got older, but I hate those people now for making me pay to read Maureen Dowd online. I'm still torked about that.
I also find it interesting discussing the Treeless Edition of the Monitor with other Monitor subscribers. A colleague of mine says that holding the paper is important to her. Holding the newspaper does not necessarily get me to read it. What caused me to end my subscription in the past was the stack of Monitors that sat waiting to be read. It also comes a day late by mail about as soon as your mailing address crosses over from the Eastern Time Zone. The articles have always been keepers. I was truly appreciative when I found a gem for a sermon or a conversation in the Monitor. I waited for 2-3 years to use an article I found that discussed global warming and the opening up of the Northwest Passage--a change that could direct the US to be Canada's dancing monkeys in the future (I'll have to do some digging to find this link. I will try to get that one posted). The Treeless Edition does not mock me as much. Another benefit--isn't a laptop for bathroom reading a classy accessory?
The real return with my renewed investment? I have been glad to read articles about Iceland, foster children, a good book review about the myth of meritocracy in the Ivy League and alternative perspectives on the common news of the day in the past two days.