So here was the deal: A professor at tiny LaSalle University in Philadelphia got into trouble for using exotic dancers in a business seminar last month. The college paper prepared an article about the incident but was ordered to hold the story pending the school’s official investigation.
That next week, the story broke elsewhere and then went national. The student paper again prepared to run the story on page one. Again, the administration ordered the story held.
Finally, the Dean of Students gave permission to run the story. But there was a catch, reports Melissa Dribben of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
The dean said the story should run “below the fold” – on the lower half of the front page, which cannot be seen from a vending box or in a stack of newspapers.
“I half expected it,” [LaSalle Collegian editor Vinny Vella] said. Twice before, he had been instructed to run unflattering stories below the fold — one about a university administrator accused of embezzlement and another about a student charged with murder. This time, however, he said, “We felt the university was trying to control us too much.”
So what did Vinny and his staff do? They ran the story below the fold, as ordered. But with a twist.
Photo by Sharon Gekoski-Kimmel of the Philadelphia Inquirer
The tiny text floating in that big sea of white says:
See below the fold
Brilliant! Granted, the douchebags in LaSalle’s administration will probably fire the entire newspaper staff. But still. This is the way you do it.
I only hope there are some good j-schools out there with scholarships, just waiting to catch the Collegian staffers on the rebound.
I also think the administration should be forced to sit through seminars on transparency and freedom of the student press.
A seminar without exotic dancers, perhaps.
Thanks to Chris Grimm of the Peoria Journal Star for the tip this afternoon.