Akron university should butt out of newspaper affairs

Last week, the University of Akron gave us yet another reason to dislike them.

The editors at Akron’s independent student newspaper, The Buchtelite, were presented with an article about a play in which the reporter also had a role. Faced with a time crunch and a lack of other options, the editors decided to remove the reporter’s name from the story and replace it with “Staff Report,” according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

The reporter, upset with the decision not to have her name published with the work, brought the case before Judicial Affairs. The reporter wanted the editors to be charged with plagiarism and dishonesty.

The editors said they took her name off because the reporter mentioned herself in the article, the Beacon Journal reported. We guess that reporter must have missed the day in Journalism 101 where they teach you not to cover events in which you are involved. Maybe before we place total blame on the reporter, we should ask who actually assigned her the story.

Now admittedly, it was a bad decision to have slapped “Staff Report” on something that clearly wasn’t. The reporter says she wasn’t given a chance to pull her story after she knew her name wouldn’t be published with it. But what does Judicial Affairs have to do with the situation?

Regardless of the issues between the editors and the reporter, that’s where the situation should have stayed – between the staff members of the newspaper. Like the Daily Kent Stater, The Buchtelite is an independent newspaper and finances itself through advertising, not university dollars. The university shouldn’t have the authority to undermine decisions – however bad they may be – made by the editors. Although the byline is a prized possession among journalists, the editors have the right to add or remove a reporter’s name as they deem necessary.

The reporter has already said she will no longer write for The Buchtelite, which might be the best move for her.

The university should let the editors handle this situation and butt out. Let them learn from their mistakes. Trust us, that is punishment enough.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.