Students cleverly deal with order to run controversial story below the fold

Philadelphia Inquirer

The LaSalle University Collegian's story about a business professor having "exotic dancers" at an off-campus symposium was ready to go last week with a four-column banner headline, says executive editor Vinny Vella. But the Catholic school's dean of students ordered the story held until LaSalle's investigation was completed. After other news outlets reported the scandal, the dean allowed publication -- but only below the fold. || How the student journalists handled that:

The story ran Thursday on the bottom half of the front page: "La Salle launches 'full-scale investigation' into off-campus seminar." The top half was left blank, except for four small words: See below the fold.

From the Collegian's editorial:

Without this explanation [of why the story was delayed], we believe readers would think that the Collegian’s story was just a rehash of other journalists’ work. This perception is insulting to Luke Harold, Justin Walters and all of the other staff members who worked hard to put the story on today’s front page together.

The truth is that we got there first. Our hands were tied, but that is a fact that the staff as a whole has come to accept, albeit begrudgingly.

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.

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