Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First Paper to Abandon Print

After a century of continuous publication, The Christian Science Monitor will abandon its weekday print edition and appear online only, starting in April 2009. The cost-cutting measure makes The Monitor the first nationally circulated newspaper to essentially give up on print.

There is no mention in its own story about the transition, nor in the New York Times coverage, as to whether the paper plans to bolster its multimedia content.

As you can see from one of the CSMonitor.com stories featured on KobreGuide, the paper has made positive steps in that direction over the past few years. Its video package on "Africa's AIDS Orphans," a profile of two South African couples who opened their hearts and stretched their resources to give AIDS orphans a family, is still compelling viewing. In fact, recently produced videos update the situation -- a rarity in multimedia projects, which hardly ever follow up on their subjects. All the more reason it merits your attention now.

We wish the Monitor well in its new online-only configuration, and hope that it will accelerate its production of high-quality multimedia and video journalism in the process.

One question, though. As more newspapers make that inevitable transition to online-only presences, do we still call them newspapers?

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