Stopping the Presses: A Longitudinal Case Study of the Christian Science Monitor


Though many news organizations have talked about going “Web-first” in response to sweeping economic and technological changes rocking the media landscape, the Christian Science Monitor took the mantra beyond platitudes. In 2009, the Monitor became the first nationally circulated newspaper to replace its daily print edition with its website and a weekly print magazine.

This study utilizes three weeks of newsroomobservation, interviews, and a survey to examine the paper’s effort to grapple with this transition and the way it has altered news routines and values. Drawing upon theories of organizational culture and leadership, it offers insight for other organizations seeking to implement change.

The study also documents a shift in the Monitor’s news-gathering efforts and coverage as immediacy and page views rose as critical measures of success.


Jonathan Groves, Drury University & Carrie Brown, University of Memphis


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Harvard Neiman Journalism Lab Post: Dr. Carrie Brown’s Research

At the International Symposium on Online Journalism earlier this month, one of my favorite papers presented was by Drury’s Jonathan Groves and Carrie Brown-Smith of the University of Memphis. They’ve been spending a lot of time in the newsroom of the Christian Science Monitor to observe its transition from a daily print newspaper to a web-first newsroom with a weekly print edition. That transition required shifts in operations, in culture, and in the kind of journalism the Monitor produces.

 Their full paper (pdf) is worth a read for its analysis of how those changes were made and what was gained and lost. But I’ve asked them to write a summary of their findings for the Lab. As they write, it’s up to you to judge how much this counts as a tragedy or a success for journalism.

Read post here.

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The Social Media Educator Blog

This blog was developed in order to provide a look into the graduate and undergraduate social media courses that are currently underway at the University of Memphis Department of Journalism.

The Social Media Educator Blog focuses on the creation and development of a course in social media that aims to educate journalism and public relations students on the tools and best practices currently being used in their field. In order to do this, I have been working with Dr. Carrie Brown-Smith to determine the most effective and hands-on way for students to hone their social media skills and develop their own social media toolbox.

Creator: Donna Sudderth, M.A. graduate, University of Memphis Department of Journalism

Project Chair: Carrie Brown, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, University of Memphis Department of Journalism

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Great Memphians

Web II class miniproject III: Great Memphians. Each student in the class profiled a Memphian to highlight, collected information and designed the site on their own. No templates could be used to show their proficiency in web publishing.

See their work here.

Dr. Jin Yang, Instructor.

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The West Memphis 3 Project:

On May 5, 1993 three second graders dissappeared from their West Memphis, Ark. homes and the history of the small town on the Mississippi River was changed forever. Though three teenagers were arrested and convicted of the crime, many questioned the proof behind the state’s case. Almost 20 years later, the court case is still unfolding and the community is still searching for answers.

This website presents an updated look at what has become known as the “West Memphis 3” case. This year-long project looks at the new claims coming out in court as well as the legal questions concerning one of the most controversial cases in America.

See the full site by University of Memphis M.A. graduate Ashley Wislock

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University of Memphis Department of Journalism

The Department of Journalism averages 350 undergraduates and 50 graduate students. We have a full time faculty of 14 professors and lecturers, along with an average of 20 part-time instructors from major market media outlets. Our program focuses on applied journalism to help students learn the concepts and skills to be effective working professionals.

Official website of the University of Memphis Department of Journalism

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The Daily Helmsman

Independent student newspaper of the University of Memphis.

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