Student press continues to battle newspaper thieves

Student journalists around the country continue to battle the theft of newspapers, as it becomes a more and more popular way to censor free speech.

Staffers at the University of California at Berkeley student newspaper are starting to get a little tired of newspaper thieves’ mischief.

For the seventh time in one year, The Daily Californian was ripped off. More than 6,500 copies of a 23,000 press run were cleaned out of several of the main distribution bins on Oct. 15, said Editor in Chief Ryan Tate.

The first of this series of thefts was in November 1996.

The university’s Chancellor Robert Berdahl made an official public statement condemning the thefts and the university police department is investigating the thefts as a crime. No arrests have been made.

A Louisiana State University student used the idea behind old-fashioned book burnings to protest what he felt was unfair coverage in a student newspaper.

Campus police arrested Joe Alfone Sept. 25 and turned him over to local authorities for suspicion of theft and criminal mischief after he allegedly publicly set fire to almost 1,000 copies of the Sept. 24 edition of the Tiger Weekly, a conservative student newpspaper at LSU in Baton Rouge.

Alfone apparently objected to a piece for which he was a source that appeared in the newspaper.

He said the published interview misrepresented him to make him sound like a “big, dumb hippie,” and that the end of the interview was cut off.

Tiger Weekly editor Wayne Lewis said the end of the interview had been cut for space. The article was 1,400 words long.

“We certainly didn’t cut him short,” Lewis said.

Staffers of the student newspaper at Drexel University in Philadelphia discovered copies of their newspaper, The Triangle, in a shredded heap piled five feet high outside the newsroom door.

The incident was in response to a controversial classified advertisement published in The Triangle on Sept. 19.

The classified promoted the sale of “Children, 7 Africans, 14 Cubans and 8 Hispanics…Excellent condition, love to work. Talented blow-job artists. Need to make room for winter time midgets’ sale…”

The Triangle Editor Anh Dang said the classified was printed by mistake and offered his apologies on behalf of the newspaper in an editorial in the Sept. 26 edition of the newspaper.

In the article, he took responsibility but also pointed out the responsibility of those that placed the advertisement.

The newspaper does not know who placed the ad and has reported no further incidents since the classified advertisement issue was settled.