Celebrating One Year of ‘The Torch’
February 28, 2006
by Michael Tseng
One year ago this month, FIRE launched The Torch
as a decisive step into the daily debate over civil liberties on campus. The blog format has proved to be a great forum for FIRE staff members to introduce and follow up on FIRE cases, discuss current legal and policy issues affecting campus rights, point out interesting articles and other blog posts, and present FIRE’s reflections on campus controversies that have not been adopted as FIRE cases.
We are especially proud of the scrutiny of misguided campus policies that has been generated by The Torch
’s “Speech Code of the Month” feature—indeed, the buzz resulting from our denunciation
of Albertson College
’s speech code led directly to the favorable revision of that code
. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” and with The Torch
we have brightened the glare of publicity—and sharpened its focus.
Serial posts to The Torch
have strengthened pressure on and prolonged attention to the organizations and schools whose double standards we find particularly galling, such as the ongoing travesty of justice occurring at Occidental College
in Los Angeles and the hypocrisy of Phi Beta Kappa
’s refusal to confront the speech codes that prevail at many of its member institutions.
In short, during this important first year of The Torch, we have undertaken to enrich and enliven the website’s content with compelling and novel coverage of the issues we face. Ever since we ignited The Torch, we have seen a steadily growing readership that has increased along with the overall traffic to FIRE’s website. FIRE deeply appreciates the overwhelmingly positive response to The Torch in its first year. We have immensely enjoyed engaging the insightful comments and constructive criticism sent to us by our dedicated readers. Keep reading as we continue to explore the uses of this feature of the website for many more years to come.