November 21, 2004

Fixing Newspaper Thefts

One of the recurring problems of campus these days are stolen newspapers. That doesn't mean just a single newspaper, mind you, but thousands of stolen papers, usually tossed in a remote trash bin and hauled away to the dump. This sort of thing is so widespread that way back in the day when I was helping run a conservative/libertarian paper (on a Macintosh SE/30 running Ready, Set Go! 4.5 if I recall) we decided to forego the bother of having to meet with the police that often and actually organized delivery service for the 5000 on campus undergraduates of SUNY at Stony Brook. If only we had thought it through a bit better, we'd have beaten out Peapod by years B-), I tell you.

The thought comes to me that if it took a team of less than ten people to go do that (for free, mind you) once a month, student government could certainly fund a 1st amendment delivery service. Imagine if stealing a controversial issue meant that your ideological opponents actually increased their circulation and did it in a way that you could no longer interfere in future, surely that would dent the enthusiasm of 1st amendment hooligans. A small amount of funding and it could turn into a nice source of work/study slots for less well off students. Best of all it could be presented non-ideologically, as a blow against campus thugs who want to exercise thought control by killing off alternative news outlets.

Given the small amount of funding at stake, I can't imagine the argument against it.

Posted by TMLutas at November 21, 2004 02:38 PM