'The Heights' Welcomes BC's Newest Publication
Student-Run Catholic Monthly, 'The Torch,' Must Be A Deparature From Its Predecessor, 'The Observer'
Published: Monday, September 23, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 23, 2013 01:09
The Torch, Boston College’s newest student-run publication, debuts its first issue this Wednesday, Sept. 25. The monthly print issue will replace The Observer as the Catholic student voice on campus, following the newspaper’s dissolution last May.
In the past, The Observer drew ire for its often-abrasive mix of religious commentary and political conservatism. The decision to discontinue The Observer and start a new paper, with the intent of focusing more on Catholicism and less on conservative issues, is commendable. In light of Pope Francis’ recent comments encouraging Catholics to focus more on social justice than on proscribing certain behaviors, a move away from the aggressive tone that Observer articles and editorials often took on is timely.
The Torch’s financial independence from the University gives its editors freedom over its content. The new paper should embrace this opportunity to present disparate points of view, and avoid limiting itself to a single outlook. The decision to include a column written by an atheist student is a good start to promoting diversity within The Torch’s pages.
While the University will not influence the paper’s content, its cordial relationship with Campus Ministry can only be beneficial, and the decision to include columns by faculty members indicates a willingness to engage with more of the University than a small, select group.
The Torch states that its purpose is to provide coverage of Catholic news, and to give students of all faiths the opportunity for thoughtful reflection on religious issues. The new publication’s leadership seems to appreciate the problems that the political agenda of The Observer caused in the past, and so long as The Torch commits to a balance of objective news articles and nuanced, reflective Catholic pieces, its presence will be welcome on the BC campus.