The Albion Pleiad, Albion College’s student newspaper, has had its publication rights revoked by administrators due to an article published about the death of a student at a nearby university and concerns of content verification.
The article, titled “Alma student disappears, found dead,” was initially published on Jan. 31, but was heavily revised later that day, removing quotes from Alma students who speculated on the student’s whereabouts and regarding the student’s alcohol consumption following a party, as these were based on rumors from a single source.
However, on Feb. 2, the Dean of Students at Albion notified the Pleiad that the article had “potentially negative implications” and removed the article and put a moratorium into effect, according to a post on the Pleiad’s Facebook page. The statement also said that quotes had been used out of context and that fact-checking policies were not followed.
“This is an unprecedented move by the Dean of Students,” the post said.
Adam Goldstein, an attorney with the Student Press Law Center who represents the Pleiad, told the Battle Creek Enquirer the story was a case of “bad journalism, but it didn’t create a legal risk.”
The Pleiad has not yet regained its publication rights.
Earlier this year, The Buchtelite, the University of Akron’s independent student newspaper, also shut down, citing staffing concerns.