AKRON, Ohio - A decision by editors of the University of Akron's student newspaper to pull a reporter's byline from a story has sparked a controversy over journalism ethics.
The reporter objected to the editors' decision and reported it to the university's Office of Student Judicial Affairs, which investigates possible student misconduct.
The editor-in-chief and two other student editors at the
met last week with a judicial affairs officer who recommended they apologize to reporter Karlise Brown in writing. The Office of Student Judicial Affairs then rejected the recommendation.
Michele Campbell, assistant dean of student life, declined to comment on the reporter's complaint. The process "is incomplete at this time," she wrote the
Akron Beacon Journal
in an e-mail.
Another hearing was scheduled for Thursday.
Dan Kadar, the editor-in-chief, said Brown's byline was pulled from a Jan. 31 story on a student play because the writer mentioned herself as a member of the cast or crew of "Raisin in the Sun."
Writers aren't supposed to cover events that they're involved in, Kadar said. In place of "By Karlise Brown," the newspaper used the byline "Staff report."
Brown, a theater student, said she was unhappy that the editors removed her byline and then didn't give her a chance to withdraw the story.
"I don't feel their practices are ethical, so I went through channels to do things the way they should be done," Brown said. "It wasn't a staff report because no one at the staff wrote it."
Brown hasn't filed for her $10 payment for the story and said she would no longer write for the newspaper.
Kadar said he objected to the university getting involved in the dispute at the newspaper, which pays for its publication by selling ads. The university provides space for the newspaper in its student center and pays for an adviser.
"Telling us what to do just didn't seem right," he said. "When we try to teach students the correct journalism ethics, you get into a situation like this."