Dear new Torchies,
The time has come to pass on the Torch to a brand new editorial board. A good number of current e-board members have been a part of the newspaper since their freshman year of college. We have played an important role in creating not only a base for growth in terms of learning the craft of journalism outside of classrooms, but also established a sense of community within our staff.
As we prepare to elect a new e-board for St. John’s independent student newspaper, we can’t help but think about the many long Tuesday nights we spent in the basement of O’Connor Hall. Having lengthy conversations about whether we should publish an article at the moment or wait for more information, discussing comma placements and headline options.
Perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice that we can offer the next e-board is to always question what comes your way. Question why and how a piece of news is important to the St. John’s community. Question why it’s important to you and how you should go about covering it for the paper.
The second most important thing we can pass along is to fearlessly hold those in power accountable. However, being in charge of what appears on the pages of this publication requires you to be driven and responsible.
If the last years have taught us anything, it’s that people do care what we write and how we write it. Use your best judgement, and never forget that we must represent the diverse student body and culture of St. John’s.
With the help of our College Media Project from the Poynter Institute, we have learned that accountability journalism is the best way to perfect our craft. This means that we must push for media literacy within our communities, and that an open dialogue with readers is a constant goal.
We hope that members of the St. John’s community give the newly elected e-board the chance to create their own legacy. We hope that the Torch can continue to build up the trust with students, faculty and administrators. We also hope that the paper continues to be seen as a reliable source of all things SJU.
But most importantly, new Torch editors, be passionate. It’s important that everything you do in life — whether it’s journalism or not — you do with passion. You must care about every single story you pitch, publish and edit. You must care about the people you are interviewing and your readers.
This job can be frustrating and tedious at times. It can cause you to question all of your beliefs and why you should even bother, since you have classes, jobs and internships, family and loved ones to worry about as well. But once the interviews are over, once the stories are edited and once the paper is printed, it will be one of the most fulfilling aspects of your SJU experience. We promise.
Best wishes, and good luck.
Angélica and Isabella