Mapping college newspaper thefts

Newspaper theft is never funny — but sometimes you have to laugh at the ridiculous lengths some people will go to censor the news.

  • There’s the Binghamton student who justified trashing 50 copies of The Binghamton Review by saying he had obtained signed permission from students who “donated” their copies to him to trash.
  • There’s The Gatepost at Framingham State College, where 1,000 copies were trashed after the paper ran a photo front-page of students at a lacrosse game with their friend’s name (a lacrosse player) written on their midriffs. The paper’s adviser said they were told the students pictured stole the newspapers because they thought they looked fat in the photo.
  • And there’s The Pipe Dream at SUNY – Binghamton, where 5,000 copies were stolen after a controversial April Fools’ Day issue and the lock to the newspaper’s office was glued shut.

We’ve compiled all 239 reported thefts since 2000 — accounting for a staggering 521,745 stolen copies — and mapped them. Take a minute to explore the map and see where thefts are reported most frequently.

There are things your paper can do to prevent a theft, and the SPLC can help you respond if one does occur. For help, check out this checklist, and as always, feel free to call our legal hotline at (703) 807-1904.