Watch out, student bloggers.
You may think you can freely spout whatever you choose in your blog, but that’s not the case. In fact, even words that you might see as standing up for your dear mom might land you in court.
A Butler University student has learned that the hard way.
Butler University has dropped its libel suit against a student blogger after learning his name. But that’s not the end of the story. The university is going to use “internal disciplinary proceedings” instead to punish the student instead.
And what, oh what, did this student say in his blog to cause all this ruckus?
The comments that the university considered defamatory were about administrators who removed the blogger’s stepmother from her job as chair of the music school, according to the IndyStar.
The comments included calling an administrator “power hungry” and saying that administrator “hurts the ability of the school to recruit talented students and faculty members,” according to the Indiana Daily Student.
See The Indiana Daily Student‘s fabulous editorial on the case here.
Here are some random journalism-related thoughts and notes:
A blog I love: Ted Pease’s blog, Today’s Word on Journalism. Perhaps one of my favorite posts was one of this week’s words, “fish wrap,” in which a Facebook user opines about why he reads the paper. The words Pease chooses are cleverly linked to his point, and he finds great stuff.
Good journalism: Today’s New York Times has a story on new Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) past as a lawyer for tobacco giant Philip Morris. New York Gov. David Paterson appointed Gillibrand to fill Hillary Clinton’s seat. This is important information for her constituents, who had no say in her representing them, to know.
Hope: Laid off reporters and editors from The Seattle Post-Intelligencer are trying to start web sites with in-depth journalism. They are working on ways to fund the sites. God speed. We need in-depth journalism now more than ever.
Over and out: The Buffalo Newspaper Guild voted in favor of a plan that will save jobs in exchange for employee give-backs and cost savings.
“No one is happy about the numerous families hurt by The News’ cutbacks,” said Phil Fairbanks, chairman of the Guild bargaining committee on the BNG web site. “Everyone in our union sacrificed to save jobs. Our hope now is that management will do its part to put the paper on firm financial footing and avoid future layoffs.”
Bloggers are taking on the American Press Institute’s “crisis summit” on the future of newspapers and one can only hope that in the end the winner will be news consumers.
API’s summit, “Saving an Industry in Crisis,” ended with no real plan or ideas — except to meet again in six months. That no-solution solution got on several bloggers radars–and under their skins. (See Martin Langeveld, Steve Outing, and Kristufek’s We Media.
I’m going to ask my convergence journalism students tomorrow what ideas they would take to a Manhattan project. I’ll let you know the results tomorrow.