Newton Beacon partners with Boston College student newspaper ‘The Heights’

As The Newton Beacon builds its audience reach and its coverage, the new digital news source is partnering with Boston College’s student-run newspaper, The Heights.

The Newton Beacon is an independent, non-partisan nonprofit news organization, and so is The Heights., which has its own Newton section. So a partnership comes naturally as both publications strive to serve the Newton community with high-quality, reliable news and in-depth feature stories.

The Newton Beacon is adding a section for the student-run newspaper’s Newton-related stories to get a second showing. Each story from The Heights will be labeled clearly as such, to avoid any confusion and to give the students writing for The Heights the credit and acknowledgement they deserve.

“This partnership is a win-win for student journalists at B.C., The Beacon and the entire city of Newton,” Victor Stefanescu, president and editor-in-chief of The Heights, said. “It’ll invest more resources into our student newspaper’s Newton section and allow both outlets to spend more time doing the kind of enterprise reporting that builds a more-informed city.”

Bryan McGonigle, editor of The Newton Beacon, echoes that excitement.

“I’m thrilled to team up with The Heights,” McGonigle said. “The level of exceptional work they put out each week is astonishing, especially considering the writers and editors are also attending college during the day. They’re providing the college and the city great professional news coverage.”

The Heights was established in 1919 and was originally funded by Boston College. But in 1967, that changed when the newspaper’s editors decided to sponsor a visit and lecture by birth control activist William Baird. College administrators refused to allow it, with Boston College’s Jesuit roots and with birth control being controversial at the time. The editors went ahead and welcomed Baird to campus anyway, and that started an uneasiness between the college and the newspaper that led the college to cut funding for the newspaper completely.

Today, The Hights enjoys complete editorial independence and has a 48-member editorial board consisting of editors and other professionals who run the newspaper’s operations. The newspaper won ACP Peacemaker Awards in 2011, 2012 and 2013 for its print edition and in 2015 for its digital edition.

The Newton Beacon was launched earlier this year with coverage of the city’s Proposition 2 1/2 override vote and then started publishing regularly in June. The digital-only news source is run by a board of directors, and editorial content is managed by McGonigle with insight from an editorial advisory council consisting of current and former communications professionals.