The Oxford Student is set to lose 0.6 percent of its total circulation following Corpus Christi’s announcement that it is cancelling its subscription to the paper.
On Tuesday evening OxStu editors Nick Megaw and Laura Simmons received an email from Corpus Christi JCR president Kezia Lock announcing the college’s unsubscription from the student publication for Hilary term.
The email claims that “in some cases vicious rumour was published as truth and distributed around the entire University.”
“The articles have caused serious reputational and emotional damage to the Corpuscles involved to such a degree that some of the subjects of the articles have felt the need to make use of the University’s counselling service,” she continued, going on later to accuse the student paper of “sloppy irresponsible journalism”.
Replying to the allegations, OxStu’s editors said: “We regret that Corpus JCR have made this decision. However, none of our reporters deviated from the PCC code of conduct, and all stories printed in the paper were based on verifiable facts and checked by lawyers, and thus we consider any accusations of libel or harassment offensive and unfounded.”
The email drew particular attention to the newspaper’s investigation into alleged anti-Semitism by members of the Oxford University Conservative Association in its fourth week edition last term.
Lock maintains that the OUCA articles that led the Corpus Dean to ban all OUCA events in the college last November had “falsely implicated members of our JCR”.
James Rothwell, the leading writer of Michaelmas’ OUCA investigation and News Editor at the time, responded to these allegations saying: “I stand by everything I have written about OUCA. All my reporting was based entirely upon video evidence, leaked email correspondence and tape recordings and did not deviate from the Press Complaints Commission code of conduct in any way.”
Ilya Levantis, a regular reader of the OxStu, said, “personally I found the OUCA story to be an interesting and enlightening piece of reporting”.
According to one Corpus student, the boycott will remain in effect for Hilary term only and the college will resubscribe to its weekly copies of the OxStu from the begining of Trinity Term.
Jan Willem Scholten, one of the OUCA members implicated in the OxStu‘s investigation, and third year PPEist at Corpus commented on the JCR’s decision: “I support the decision whole-heartedly. The conduct of the editorial team last term when reporting on certain issues was appalling and biased, especially that of James Rothwell and Lizzie Porter. It was a good decision to make by our JCR, which chose to support its members who were attacked by an OUSU-sponsored publication”