GU’s Catholic newspaper returns

September 30, 2010

Although it received funding from a diverse group of sources when it re-started in 2008, the Georgetown Academy ran out of funds last semester and had to stop production. Now, after a six-month hiatus, the University’s only student-run Catholic newspaper is back—thanks in no small part to its writers’ willingness to help fund it out of pocket.

The paper was able to obtain enough funding to re-launch through donations from current and former writers and their families.

The paper began appearing across campus early last week, with all of its 1,000 copies distributed by Friday. The staff expects to release an additional issue this semester, and two more in the spring semester.

“I think its definitely providing an important voice that is lacking or lacking cohesion and presentation sometimes,” Matthew Cantirino (COL ’11), the Academy’s editor-in-chief said. “People on campus are very uncomfortable with [the] prevailing ethos of unconcern for our identity and history, or don’t know a lot about the Catholic Church and like to know more, or have questions about it. We’d like to be out there and present an alternative voice.”

When the Academy, which was first published by Georgetown students in the 1990s, was revived in 2008 by David Gregory (COL ’10), it was funded in part by a grant from the Collegiate Network which funds start-up college publications. At that time, the paper also recived funding from the conservative Leadership Institute.

Then and now, the self-described “independent journal of faith and reason” aims to discuss and analyze issues that relate to Georgetown’s Catholic and Jesuit identity.

This vision of rational discourse contrasts sharply with the tone the Academy adopted in the mid-‘90s, which was often vitriolic and provocative.

“It was basically a culture warrior kind of thing. I have old copies. It’s very vindictive,” Cantirino said. “We’re trying to be different than that.”

Kieran Raval (COL ’13), staff editor, said that the Academy aims to engage in a dialogue on Catholic issues on a “higher…more adult, more mature level.”

“It’s not yelling or screaming or name-calling or overly polarized,” Raval said.

Cantirino stressed that the paper is independent, even though its board of advisers includes members of conservative organizations such as the Heritage Foundation and the Cardinal Newman Society.

“It’s really a lot more rag-tag than it looks,” Cantirino said.

He said that it was unfair to label the Academy as “conservative,” adding that the next issue, which will come out in late October or early November, plans to tackle labor issues.

“You’ll see us critiquing unbridled capitalism and arguing for labor unions, [and] articles in opposition to the death penalty. It’s much more dynamic than just a left-wing, right-wing thing,” he said.

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