Updated 6:56 PM
AKRON (TDB) -- Top newsroom execs at the Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com are huddling this afternoon about the status of The Point, a political blog the newspaper started Wednesday. The Point was put on hiatus Thursday after Summit County Republican Chair Alex Arshinkoff raised an issue of bias. There has been much speculation and commentary in the Ohiosphere today saying that The Point is likely blunted and may not come back.
[UPDATE: The Point will return Monday, the newspaper now confirms on its Web site. It explains there were legal concerns about corporate funds, political campaigns, and election laws that prohibit corporations from contributing to campaigns. The Beacon said that means limits on its two bloggers: "Their mission is to comment on politics important to Ohioans -- from their distinct partisan positions. However, if they are playing an active role in a campaign -- such as working for a candidate or running for office -- they cannot use our resources in an attempt to persuade voters, and they cannot be paid. Pay and commentary may resume once that active role in the campaign ceases."]
But Doug Oplinger, the ABJ's managing editor, told The Daily Bellwether that no decision has been made to kill off the new blog. The newspaper, instead, has paused while it tries to figure out how to meld blogging by political activists Kyle Kutchief and Ben Keeler with the traditional standards of a mainstream media outlet. Oplinger said the internal meeting would start around 3 p.m. He emphasized that anybody who contends the newspaper has abandoned or backed off its blogging project would be wrong.
"They are saying something that we're not saying. We have certain standards, and we're trying to figure out how to be comfortable."
Oplinger said he had to break off the telephone conversation to go to the meeting. But he stressed that The Point wasn't dead, and seemed a bit perplexed that anyone would think it was gone.