Newspaper thefts occurred at four college campuses last week, ranging froma few hundred to several thousand missing copies. Controversial articles mayhave been behind the thefts at Ball State University, Loyola MarymountUniversity and the University of New Orleans.
The Student Press Law Centerpreviously reported on the April 8 theft of about 2,500 papers at Kent State.The Daily Kent Stater issue had no particularly controversial articles,its editor said.
Ball State, INDIANA — Vince Filak, adviser for theBall State Daily News, got a notice Friday morning that every copy of thepaper was missing from some of the major campus drop-points. The papers,totaling more than 8,000, went missing before distribution was completed, Filaksaid. The Daily News typically prints 14,000 copies per issue.
The front page of Friday’s paper featured an article about the arrest of aBall State soccer player, which garnered negative feedback from some students,Filak said. Dozens of readers commented on the story on the Daily Newsweb site.
“The Ball State Daily News should focus more on bringing the universitytogether through positive articles rather than publishing negative articles,especially those constantly about the Athletic Department,” wrote onereader.
Robert Fey, assistant chief of Ball State university police, said policehave one witness to the theft but declined to comment on what the witness hadseen. The theft was the third in a year and a half for the DailyNews.
Filak said the cost of printing one issue is about $1,000. The DailyNews reprinted the entire Friday issue as a section in today’s paper.
“Stealing papers isn’t only illegal and stupid, but you’re not going tostop us from getting the paper out,” Filak said. “It’s ludicrous that peoplebelieve that in the day and age of the internet, that you can censor the mediasimply by running around and grabbing as many copies as you can and stealingthem.”
Loyola Marymount, CALIFORNIA — Early last week,entire stacks of the Loyolan disappeared from newsstands across theLoyola Marymount University campus. About 300 papers were found in a campusrecycling bin on April 9, Loyolan Editor in Chief Nader Alsheikh said.The paper prints about 5,000 copies per issue.
The bi-weekly paper typically has several hundred copies of an issue leftover, but there were no copies left on newsstands by the middle of last week.The April 7 issue featured two columns that could have upset some students,Alsheikh said. One column referred to a pregnant Oregon transgender male as asign that civilization was ending. Alsheikh said he received multiple letters inresponse to the column. The other column criticized fraternity philanthropies.
The Loyolan filed a police report and turned in the name of apossible culprit to the university’s Department of Public Safety. Alsheikhdeclined to commment on why that particular name was turned in.
“It’s terribly disheartening to see the newspaper just disrespected,” hesaid. “We’re going to do everything we can to rectify the situation, if at allpossible. “
University of New Orleans, LOUSIANA — Over 300 copiesof the weekly University of New Orleans Driftwood were found in trashcans near three newspaper racks on April 8. The papers were found after astudent government meeting where members said “firm words” to Driftwoodstaffers, Editor in Chief Rebecca Barker said.
The issue had an article reporting on a student criticizing the studentgovernment president and treasurer at an open forum with the universitychancellor. Driftwood staffers took some clean papers out of the trashand put them back on the newspaper racks.
The Driftwood filed a report with the university police departmentlast week. Barker said it costs about $600 to print an issue.
“Really it’s such an unimpressive attempt at censorship,” Barker said.”Everyone condemns it as immature, which is right.”