SPLC Reports Worrying Numbers of Campus Newspaper Theft

November 20, 2013

The Student Press Law Center (SPLC) reported last week that October’s issues of The Crusader, Seward County Community College’s student newspaper, had disappeared suspiciously quickly off the newsstands. Some members of the SCCC community suspect the issues were stolen in order to keep readers—particularly prospective students—from reading about a recent drug bust on campus. And SPLC’s article includes disturbing statistics on how common bulk theft of college newspapers is:

This is the eighth newspaper theft reported to the Student Press Law Center so far this year. Twenty-seven thefts were reported in 2012.

As FIRE’s Azhar Majeed discussed here on The Torch during Free Press Week earlier this year, newspaper theft is often a manifestation of students’ “unlearning liberty,” as peers take action to silence each other.

Click over to SPLC’s website for additional statistics on newspaper theft, and check out FIRE’s resources for student journalists.

UPDATE: Looks like we published this entry too soon. Just this afternoon, SPLC reported the ninth newspaper theft of 2013: Every copy of Saddleback College’s newspaper the Lariat disappeared from newsstands last night.

UPDATE 2 (11/22/13): The hits keep coming. SPLC reported yesterday that more than 200 copies of Quinnipiac University’s The Quinnipiac Chronicle were stolen on Wednesday, upping the count to 10 newspaper thefts reported to SPLC this year.