Monitoring the News: The Brilliant Launch and Sudden Collapse of the Monitor Channel

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M.E. Sharpe, Jan 1, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 240 pages
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The future came to the Monitor first, as one bloodied protagonist put it.

In her colorful insider's account, Sue Bridge analyzes the bitter struggle that ensued when a sophisticated entrepreneurial leadership tried to diversify and reposition The Christian Science Monitor beyond the failing newspaper--into radio, the Internet, multimedia publishing, and the highest ticket item of all--The Monitor Channel, a CNN-style, 24-hour news and public affairs channel. The entire enterprise came crashing down in a cloud of confusion about media realities and costs in the electronic age, rumors of illegal use of funds (which turned out not to be true), and accusations of a misbegotten sense of mission. Using the Monitor's story as a focus, Sue Bridge raises fundamental questions about how and whether the public's interest can be served in an age of spiraling costs, competition between print and electronic media, changing public tastes, and undeclared media wars.

The book includes
--insightful, first-hand observations and historic context about what happened when the Monitor, one of this century's most revered bastions of journalistic excellence, slammed headlong into the need for radical reform
--the story of a mysterious $100 million bequest left to the Church backing The Monitor Channel, and the Church's rivals for those monies --Stanford University and the Los Angeles Museum
--the undeclared war waged by The Boston Globe and its parent company, Affiliated Publications--wounded by recession, determined to maintain primacy in New England and laboring under the need to arrange its own sale without delay.
A real-life drama and an expertly presented case study, Monitoring the News offers a challenge both to communications professionals and to the concerned public to consider where the future of the communications industry lies.

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Monitoring the news: the brilliant launch and sudden collapse of the Monitor Channel

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In the late 1980s, new leadership in the Christian Science Church's publishing arm recognized that the readership of their Christian Science Monitor newspaper had peaked and its operating deficits ... Read full review


The Changing Business of News
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Tradition Is Not Enough

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About the author (1998)

Susan Bridge taught political science at Wesleyan University.

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