Bittersweetly, this edition of The Cowl is our third-to-last of the year. As I prepare to move out of the position which I have held all year and pass the torch on to the next Cowl Editor-in-Chief, I have been thinking about the importance of a free press and the importance, especially, of student newspapers like The Cowl.
For casual readers, The Cowl may not seem like an important part of campus. Students might pick it up if they see a stand, check to see if their friends are on the Roving Photography page, or if the Listomania is funny this week, and put it back down. And while I may be speaking from a rather biased point of view—seeing the work that my staff puts in every week and the passion and love that goes into each and every issue—I do not think I am remiss in emphasizing the importance of press in our society and, the microcosm of society that we are, on campus.
In the politically polarized society in which we live, it may seem like the media does more harm than good. And some sites, especially the ones that lean significantly to one political side or another and clearly have an agenda behind their writing, may only add fuel to the societal fire. But imagine the world without a free press. Imagine what politicians and other people in power would do without the press to report on and critique their activities. Imagine how uninformed the public would be without access to a free press.
While The Cowl may not be a media giant like the New York Times or the BBC that can sustain 24 hour, international news cycles, student newspapers play a role on college campuses as well. They offer a space for students to share their opinions, to hone their writing and photography skills, and to amplify their voices. From reporting on school dances and panels to writing editorials to reporting and photographing sports games, The Cowl is a place for students to decide what they want to write and what they would want to read.
The Cowl is an over 80-year long tradition at PC and one with which I am proud to have played a part. The Cowl will continue to serve as a voice for students in the community and to search for and report truth both during my last few weeks and, I am confident, going forward. Veritas is not only a pillar of PC, but it is also at the core of what we do on this publication and of our place in this community.