Newspaper theft is a crime. Even in the online/digital age, theft of physical newspapers continues to be an appalling form of censorship. Each year student publications across the country fall victim to thieves whose intent is to prevent the dissemination of news, information and opinion with which they disagree. While most high school and college… Continue reading Newspaper theft resources
Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Legal Question of the Week.” Q: What exactly is censorship? A: Anytime someone who works for the school prevents or attempts to prevent you from publishing content in your student publication, you’re dealing with censorship. On the college level,… Continue reading What exactly is censorship?
UPDATE: Dylan Lepore, editor-in-chief of The Tartan, wrote a letter to Radford University President Brian Hemphill on Student Press Freedom Day voicing his disapproval for how the university handled its investigation into the theft of 1,000 newspapers in fall 2019. Lepore criticized Radford police’s decision not to charge the employee found responsible for stealing several racks… Continue reading “How long are we going to wait?” Editor-in-Chief criticizes Radford’s newspaper theft investigation
Editor’s Note: If you’ve experienced a newspaper theft this year, or if one ever occurs in the future, email Danielle Dieterich at firstname.lastname@example.org to report it. At least 8,500 copies of student newspapers at colleges in the United States were reported stolen, trashed or destroyed in 2019. In November alone, thefts were reported at County… Continue reading Newspaper theft in 2019: 8,500+ issues stolen, trashed in 13 incidents
Theft of free-distribution newspapers by those who object to the newspaper’s content is a frequent problem for the college student media. Although the SPLC believes that newspaper thieves can be prosecuted in most jurisdictions under existing theft laws, in 1994 Maryland became the first state to pass a law explicitly criminalizing the taking of free newspapers.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 5, 2020 Contact: Diana Mitsu Klos, director of engagement (202) 728-7267/ email@example.com The Student Press Law Center joins Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in calling for Virginia Commonwealth University’s Student Government Association to rectify a newspaper theft and recommit to upholding student journalists’ First Amendment rights. Addressed to SGA President Breanna… Continue reading NEWS RELEASE: The Student Press Law Center demands remedial actions for stolen issues of Virginia Commonwealth University’s student newspaper
FLORIDA — Kristen Grau walked by a University Press newspaper stand and knew something wasn’t right. Every copy was gone, even the display piece. In the trash bin only feet from the stand, Grau found the newspapers under only a few pieces of garbage. The cover story of this particular issue includes a detailed account… Continue reading FAU student newspapers detailing alleged rape by quarterback found in trash
UPDATE: No criminal charges are being filed after 13 newsstands were emptied at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. On Feb. 26, 2020, members of VCU’s Student Government Association were seen trashing copies of The Commonwealth Times that included an article detailing ongoing conflicts within SGA. According to a statement by the VCU Police Department, detectives… Continue reading No criminal charges filed after VCU student government members trashed 875 copies of The Commonwealth Times
OHIO — A campus police officer has been fired after being caught on tape trashing issues of The Chimes student newspaper at Capital University, a private university just outside of Columbus. Surveillance footage showed Capital Public Safety Officer Ryan George removing a stack of the Oct. 24 issue of the Chimes from a newsstand outside… Continue reading Campus police officer in Ohio fired after trashing student newspapers
On Constitution Day (and every day), we at SPLC want you to remember: the Constitution protects student press freedom.