Rash of Newspaper Thefts Last Week

February 25, 2008

The Student Press Law Center (SPLC) is reporting three student newspaper thefts last week at schools in New Jersey, New York, and Georgia.

At Drew University in New Jersey, university officials are investigating the theft of some 2,400 copies of the February 1 edition of The Acorn, the student newspaper. Acorn Editor in Chief Jackie Ryan said she believes the theft is a response to an article about a campus drug bust. Ryan also told SPLC the theft cost the paper about $960 in printing fees.

SPLC also reports that about 2,000 copies of the February 6 edition of The Stylus, the student paper at SUNY-Brockport, were stolen after an article about the impeachment of the vice president of the student government.

Then there’s Berry Collegemy personal favoritewhere the school’s cheerleading squad admitted stealing about 900 issues of the February 7 edition of The Campus Carrier after the paper ran an opinion column criticizing the cheerleaders’ lack of spirit at Berry basketball games.

We’ve seen several newspaper theft cases over the past couple of years, but the trend seemed to have temporarily subsided until now. We just can’t say it enough: the answer to speech you might disagree with is more speech, not stealing newspapers to silence an opinion you dislike. FIRE will continue to watch for further developments in these cases.