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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