Friday, September 28, 2007

Newspaper caught in security breach scandal

The Oregonian has a troubling story today about a student copy editor who was disciplined and a student newspaper adviser who was dismissed after the paper inadvertently found Social Security numbers and other sensitive data on student applicants on the university's computer system and then published a big story about the breach.

In an update today, The Oregonian reported that Blair Loving, the Western Oregon Journal copy editor who accidentally happened on the sensitive data while practicing editing on the newspaper's computer system, would not be expelled from Western Oregon University. As part of his punishment campus officials ordered him "to write a newspaper commentary on school policies," according to the news article.

Can campus officials order a student to write a newspaper commentary? Does the newspaper have to print such a piece?

Susan Wickstrom, adviser to the student paper for the past seven years, learned in August that her contract would not be renewed, according to The Oregonian.

Meanwhile, The Western Oregon Journal has only two stories on its Web site and there's no access to archives. That may be because classes just started on Monday.

We're eager to hear from Western Oregon Journal editors about what's happening over there. We'd also like to see the story about the security breach the paper ran in June. Post a comment here.

Update: has a piece on this today.

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