« PreviousContinue »
TELLING THE GOOD MEN DO
By WILDER D. QUINT
T is no longer necessary to believe querable
querable energy of the Christian that a newspaper-and more espe- Science folk and, second, their ineradi
cially a recently established one cable habit of having the best in whatmust roll in the mire in order to be ever direction they undertake to go. come popular; must consider crime At the suggestion of Mrs. Eddy the the most important thing in the world trustees of the publishing society ento gain a large circulation; must dis- tered upon the work of establishing a figure its pages with typographical hor- daily paper, and a genuine newspaper rors to be attractive to the great people they produced in every sense of the of a great country, and must howi dem word-except some of the senses that agoguery that it may be considered a could well be spared from the customteacher of the masses.
ary conception of the term. "One item of information is worth From the very beginning the story ten comments," wonderful old De of "The Christian Science Monitor” is Blowitz used to say. So one vital ex remarkable. Seemingly, it required but ample is worth a thousand theories and a hint to those in charge of the already ten thousand sermons. One newspaper elaborate publishing plant in Boston, that stakes its success on the empha- and the thing was accomplished. It sizing of the world's good news instead has been told many times with what of its evil-and wins-has carried the astonishing rapidity the newspaper was day for journalistic righteousness with- brought into existence. And yet there out quibble or fear of contradiction. is in the recital a deal of instruction That paper exists; it is “The Christian and suggestion, especially to the pracScience Monitor," of Boston, and, in- tical newspaper man, who knows that cidentally, of the world.
the bringing to pass of such things When about a year ago the char takes time, and who now can see and acteristically quiet announcement was appreciate the highly creditable remade that a daily newspaper was soon sults of the undertaking. to be issued from the Christian Science The days of the beginning were typpublication headquarters, at Falmouth ical. It was in August, 1908, that the and St. Paul streets, veteran journal- first practical steps were taken toward ists wagged their heads sagely and set the establishing of the Monitor. Nothtled the matter in short order. The ing was left to chance-nothing waspaper would "go”-yes, yes, there was permitted just to happen. At once, no doubt about that-it would “go” a thoroughly trained and able newsbecause of the strength of the denomi- paper man was asked to come to Bosnation and the numbers of its adher ton to take the helm of this newest ents. But it could not be a newspaper journalistic bark. On the day he arfrom the very nature of the case; it rived in town a consultation was held, must be a proselyting sheet of little plans were discussed and it was then interest except to those to whom it and there decided that to furnish a made its distinctively ethical appeal. home for the newspaper an addition to Thus they said, and doubtless believed. the existing building was necessary. It But they failed to take into consid
was determined, also, to issue the first eration two things: first, the uncon number of the paper on November 24th,
the day before Thanksgiving. The out- offices on Falmouth Street how the look would not have been highly sat- great engines of the disseminating of isfactory to a less sanguine and ener news and knowledge were in their getic body of men. Four apartment places in the press room before the houses stood on the land that was to protecting walls of the building were furnish space for the new building. even in existence, and how the linotype Very well, then, they must go, and at machines above were actually open to once their demolition was begun. Less the sun and stars for several days bethan three months remained for the fore they were finally housed. completion of the home for the Mon Then came the gathering together of itor, but by September 16th work on the staff, made up almost without exits erection was begun. Presses were ception of men owing allegiance to ordered, linotype machines contracted the faith that had called them to the for, and all the expensive paraphernalia service. It was an exceedingly good
of a newspaper office was purchased staff. That a man was a Christian long in advance of its actual use. Scientist primarily was not enough to
At times the incompleteness of things insure him a position upon the Monmust have appalled even the ever-con- itor. He must, in addition, be a newsfident trustees and editors. There was paper man of proven worth and known the matter of the presses, for instance; ability. It was by adhering to this the company furnishing them had other principle that no trace of amateurishorders far in advance of this demand ness, no evidence of groping for a from Boston, but by paying cash down policy, has ever been discovered in the Monitor people were enabled to the conduct of the Monitor. In just get the great advantage of prompt de- that very point the paper put to naught livery. And the delivery was prompt, the prophecies of the onlooking wisefor it is still told with pride in the acres; it was from its birth, and is
to-day, a product of practical journal- lutely indispensable to the producing of ism and not of enthusiasts with a cult a good daily. to exploit.
To be sure the profession as a whole The home of "The Christian Science is gradually outgrowing that view of Monitor" as it exists to-day is a highly the case, but it has remained for “The entertaining study for the dyed-in-the- Christian Science Monitor" to show the wool newspaper man whose early world that a progressive, handsome and training led him to believe that one of entertaining newspaper may be edited the cardinal principles of successful under surroundings as tasteful, even journalism was the maintaining of a beautiful, as are those of the highest villainously untidy office; that the kind of commercial activities. ablest newspapers had the dirtiest quar The principle that surroundings of ters; that hubbub and uproar and the artistic refinement have their inevitable wild crash of many noises were abso- effect upon the mental output of men
and women is here insisted upon and proceeds from one portion of the staff illustrated to the fullest degree. It is to another in a wonderfully rapid and safe to say that in no newspaper home convenient way. Labor and time-savin North America, at least, is there so ing devices abound, and the investigamuch of actual beauty, combined with tor who might choose to follow a piece a long-thought-of plan of convenience. of "copy" from typewriter to printed This devotion to sightliness is carried impression would see scarcely a break out even in the composing room, press in the whole process, so admirably is room and stereotyping room, and in ' each department dovetailed into the no one of them is that heat, gloom or other. It is needless to say, of course, squalor that so often marks the ordin- that the newest and best mechanical ary quarters for the mechanical pro- appliances obtainable in the world are duction of a newspaper.
used in the making of this newspaper. A visitor to these model newspaper So much for the beautiful and comoffices—and there are very many of modious home whence comes this daily them in the course of every working visitor to so many thousand of other day-steps at once into a cool, long homes all over the world. Visually the corridor, marble floored. Upon his paper itself is as attractive as the place left are the quarters of the advertising where it is made. It is typographically and circulation departments, resem- artistic and striking without being in bling those of a high-grade bank. On the least overdone in black-faced emthe right begins that long series of phasis. It is made up with care and what might well be called "linear con- a decent regard for proportion. Its ilveniences,” for here is the beautiful lustrations are always well executed, room of the Managing Editor, and from and its body type is clear and readable. it in lines, now straight, now radiating It seems to have struck the happy somewhat, proceed all the other activi- medium between an appearance of ties of the newspaper in regular se- sleepy respectability and wild-eyed quence. It is a wonderful system that sensationalism. It stimulates curiosity somebody has evolved for the most ex- without hitting the public in the eye peditious and easy-running operation of with screaming atrocities of printers' a newspaper, and through it all there is ink. no noisy confusion, no creaking of un Where is the field for such a paper oiled wheels, no shouting, no incense of as this, with its four editions each day, tobacco, no profanity-nothing but the apart perhaps from that offered by the orderly running of a newspaper by a great denomination of which it is in a company of men whose lives are as well certain sense a representative? The ordered as their surroundings.
question is natural enough, and yet no A tour through the handsome offices one who asks it could talk for ten minof the editors of various grades and utes with the responsible editors of the sorts is a liberal education as to the way Monitor without being impressed with in which the Christian Science folk con- the thought that there is such a field duct any enterprise that requires en- and it is being cultivated skilfully and ergy and ability. Spite of the beautiful with true journalistic instinct. quarters in which a large part of the There were many papers in the world working force of the Monitor perform before the advent of this one, and they their daily labors, there is a keen, ting- seemed, at least, to cover every phase ling something in the air that speaks of human activity. But the people in of unremitting diligence in the making charge of “The Christian Science Monof the paper. There is no lolling in itor" believed that there were still easy chairs, no waste of time in per- highly important and highly interestforming long and needless journeys ing matters to be exploited, and it is from one department to the other. only fair to say that they have found Someone's ingenious mind has planned them. No newspaper man of any pera newspaper office where the work ception whatever can study a few is
sues of the Monitor without feeling at to tear down, instead of trying to build once that while it contains all the news up. Here is where the Monitor is difthat is essential enough to be chron- ferent. It is not destructive, but conicled, it also has the faculty of "dig- structive; it seeks to supplant existing ging out," in nowspaper parlance, evils with vital good. It is not commany fresh features and important bative, but is energetic in advancing all happenings. It covers numerous inter- those things which make for the betteresting topics and affairs overlooked or ment of mankind. The following out neglected by other journals.
of this policy has created no enemies, Back of every newspaper there is but has won thousands of friends for and must be a prevailing motive. In the Monitor and the principles which the case of "The Christian Science it represents. Monitor" stands the intent and deter The Monitor has developed one or mination to produce a newspaper that two rather interesting rules of conduct, may be accepted without fear somewhat novel in the making up of apology by the most careful and refined a newspaper. Naturally it is the inhome and that shall yet have some tent to make a first page of pleasure to thing of interest and profit for every the eye and the artistic sense. Now member of the family and shall further it is well known that the great mass tell it all it needs to know about the of newspapers permit their second page great affairs of the great world. It is to be a general dumping ground for the as if the command had gone forth one tag ends of articles run over from the year ago: "Make a good newspaper; first. In fact, so long as the outside of make a clean newspaper; make a hand- the paper is attractive, the customary some newspaper; make an instructive rule is to let the “stuffing" take care of newspaper—but make a live news itself. paper." And, lo, that thing was done. The Monitor has changed all that.
Many papers, started with the idea of It insists that its second page be as effecting reforms, have been antagon- pleasing in appearance as the first, and istic in their methods; they have sought it makes up its remarkably full and able