TENNESSEE — Hours after the Sept. 13 issue of TheDaily Helmsman was distributed, nearly half the copies ofthe University of Memphis student newspaper were reported missing.
The number of copies stolen steadily increased throughout theday as the newspaper’s staff searched campus distribution points.Although an exact number could not be determined, the staff estimatesthat 4,000 copies were missing. The paper’s circulation is 9,500.
"We found 300 in a Dumpster located out front of our building,"said L. Kate Crawford, editor in chief. She also reported thatthe staff was continuing to check other trash bins around thecampus.
In a search of 50 buildings, Crawford said, she only foundtwo stacks of papers. She also noted that copies of the paperfrom the previous two days were still available even though theSept. 13 issues were no where in sight.
The reason for the theft is still unknown. Crawford said itmight be attributed to an Associated Press article the paper rancontaining anti-Muslim sentiments.
"While we haven’t had any direct threats, we did haveone irate phone caller saying our coverage of Tuesday’s terroristattack was unfair," Crawford said.
Candace Justice, adviser to The Daily Helmsman, saidin an article about the theft, "Considering how many buildingswere systematically cleaned out of papers, this was obviouslynot just a random act of vandalism."
The newspaper has notified the campus police of the incident,and the two groups are trying to determine who is responsiblefor the missing papers.
Visit our Newspaper Theft Forum, featuring a checklist of things to do before, during and after a theft, along with our past coverage of theft incidents.