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Oklahoma Student Paper Stops Posting to Web Site.

Oklahoma State University's student-run newspaper is no longer supplying content from the print edition to its own Web site.

The dispute arose when Fritz Wirt, the Daily O'Collegian general manager who is not a student, allowed someone to write for the Web site that the print editor said she had previously fired. According to Wirt, the student was never told he was fired from the print edition but that there was a disagreement the staff was to discuss sometime this month.

"This action goes against the heart of a student-run publication," Editor in Chief Jenny Redden wrote in Monday's edition. "If students control a publication, they must have the ability to hire and fire employees of that publication. When nonstudents are afforded this power, the publication is no longer student-run. It belittles me and the other editors in the newsroom, undermining our authority to the point that we are ineffectual. ... What is our recourse? We can fire them, but they can in turn seek employment at the Web site."

The print newsroom is posting its stories on MySpace (http://myspace.com/ocolly) and Facebook (http://okstate.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5948389386&ref=mf). They are building a more permanent online publication to launch if the Student Publications Board does not agree this week to a meeting, Redden said. The next scheduled meeting is not until January.

"My staff and I hope," Redden wrote, "that members of the Student Publications Board realize that these entities should not be separate."

Wirt said the print and online editions have operated separately for 12 years and have different editors. The entities and their content are owned by the O'Collegian Publishing Company.

"No one has the authority to authorize an alternate Web site, which the students said they're going to do," Wirt said.

He is in the process of contacting a media attorney to discuss content ownership with the student journalists.

"We're offering them an attorney to help guide them in their decisions," Wirt said. "It's just a bunch of students who are inexperienced and subordinate and they don't follow the rules and it's gotten them into a lot of trouble."*This story appears courtesy of UWIRE, a news service powered by student journalists at more than 800 universities. To learn more, visit here.

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Title Annotation:Oklahoma State University
Comment:Oklahoma Student Paper Stops Posting to Web Site.(Oklahoma State University)
Author:Uwire, Via
Publication:Editor & Publisher
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 13, 2007
Words:380
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