To Our Readers:
As you are now aware, yesterday an estimated 10,000 copies of the Daily Wildcat were stolen from newsstands around campus.
If you missed your daily dose of news, Police Beat or the trusty-old crossword and Sudoku, I can only say that I'm sorry. We want the newspaper to be in your hands every day.
But apparently someone didn't.
And that's wrong — criminal, in fact — as attested to by numerous experts in media law and the Student Press Law Center in Washington D.C.
At this point, it's not clear who the culprits are or what their motive was, but one thing is certain — we are going to do our damnedest to find out.
Here's a tip: don't steal from journalists, they ask a lot of questions.
But to a greater extent, this isn't solely about the theft of $8,500 from this newspaper. As editor in chief, I regard this theft as nothing less than an assault on the freedom of the press, as well as on one of the oldest and most visible campus institutions. This is something everyone should care about.
After all, this is your newspaper. It's filled with your letters and stories about your friends, neighbors and professors. UA-area businesses depend on the Daily Wildcat to get the word out about their products and services. The newspaper is a marketplace, debate forum and bulletin board all wrapped-up into one.
No one has the right to take that service away. That's censorship, plain and simple.
We can only speculate why someone or some group would do this, but I want to make this perfectly clear. If the goal was to prevent the Daily Wildcat from publishing a story, they have failed miserably.
Obi-Wan Kenobi said it best: ""If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.""
Yesterday afternoon, I received calls from journalists around the state as well as a reporter in Washington D.C. The story is already on The Associated Press wire service. I anticipate more calls from around the country in the days to come as the story gains traction.
Basically, if these newspaper thieves wanted to beat the Wildcat, they've only succeeded in stoking the attention of the press at large.
Now, when their identity and motives are revealed, as they likely will be because people always talk, they won't just be publicized in the Daily Wildcat, but by newspapers and Web sites around Arizona and across the nation.
Stealing newspapers won't stop the Arizona Daily Wildcat, that's our promise to you. This only makes us want to dig deeper.