Liberty University, the Christian institution founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, blocked campus access to the Web site of its hometown newspaper for at least one day last week, apparently because the paper had reported that the university was the top recipient in Virginia of federal student-aid funds last year—some $445-million—on the strength of its large online-education program. The newspaper, the Lynchburg News & Advance, wrote on Monday that it did not know why the Liberty campus had been denied access to the paper’s Web site, and Liberty did not explain. The Web site Salon.com picked up on the incident, noting that Liberty had received more government funds than did National Public Radio. Jim Romenesko, who writes a blog on the news business for the Poynter Institute, said he had heard that The News & Advance’s article caused “a lot of headaches” for Liberty officials, “to the extent they enlisted their D.C. public-relations firm.”
Correction (4/13): The post above should have noted that Jerry Falwell Jr., Liberty’s chancellor and the university founder’s son, told The News & Advance that the decision to block the Web site was not related to the newspaper’s content.