|University of Missouri|
|Type||weekly student newspaper|
|Headquarters||G216 MU Student Center, Columbia, MO, 65211|
The Maneater is the official, editorially independent student news publication of the University of Missouri. The Maneater editorial and advertising staffs are composed entirely of students, with the exception of a professional business adviser. Financially, The Maneater is a non-profit publication funded by advertisers. The newspaper is distributed free of charge, and all aspects of its website remain accessible at no cost to readers. The editorial department of The Maneater remains independent from any student governments and organizations, as well as the Missouri School of Journalism and university itself.
The Maneater was founded in 1955 by Joel Gold, then a sociology student, as editor-in-chief and Jim Willard as business manager. Gold took over the former newspaper, then named the Missouri Student and controlled by the Delta Upsilon fraternity. Gold renamed it The Maneater to reflect a more aggressive news angle and transitioned the paper into an independent watchdog of the university.
Regarding the name change, Gold wrote in the first issue of The Maneater, “The name ‘Missouri Student’ reflected the editorial policy of the former paper quite well. It signified nothing.... The Maneater by its very name cannot content itself with merely presenting the news.... The Maneater is a tiger with fangs bared and claws sharpened ready to analyze the facts and then to pounce. A tiger exists because it is, and not for one group or another.”
From 1969-2013, The Maneater newspaper was published twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays, during the academic year. A growing desire for digital content led the paper to scale back to a weekly publishing schedule beginning in August 2013. The newspaper is now published every Wednesday while classes are in session during the fall and spring semesters, while the website publishes content contentiously throughout the year.
Though the Missouri Student was established in 1926 as a student paper, it fell under the purview of a Student Publications Board made up of MU faculty and was printed by the School of Journalism. It was the publications board that invited Gold to apply for editor-in-chief following the noticeable shift that had occurred at the paper by 1950. The news publication developed into a Greek Town rag and society paper, favoring party commentary before news reporting. From 1950-1955, six members from the Delta Upsilon Fraternity controlled the paper. As circulation numbers dropped, the publications board sought to shake up the Student. Given the task of refurbishing the paper, Gold likened The Maneater's new editorial policy to an aggressive news source, with the goal of turning out stories that students would want to read.
The Maneater soon took to its stand as a harsh critic of student government, penning many articles and editorials on its practices. It went on to find its footing covering multiple wars and anti-war protests. In 1969, School of Journalism printers decided they couldn't typeset a caption describing the vulgarities of a cartoon printed and distributed by a student, later expelled from the university, on campus. Readers opened the paper to a series of dashes printed in the caption's place. According to the paper's university editor at the time, by the middle of the decade, the relationship between the university and The Maneater deteriorated.
Until 1970, an issue of The Maneater cost 10 cents. Facing harsh competition from an upstart rival paper called the Campus Courier, which distributed its issues at no cost to readers, The Maneater was forced to make itself free as well in order to compete, and although the Courier lasted only a year, the loss of 10 cents an issue and more competition for advertising put The Maneater into substantial debt that lasted until the middle of the decade. Nevertheless, The Maneater has remained free ever since.
The School of Journalism has offered to absorb The Maneater into its system many times through its history. However, The Maneater has remained afloat of its own accord and remains distant from any such attempts. Today, The Maneater is a division of the university's Department of Student Life. The paper is printed in Sedalia, Mo., and though a publications board still exists to handle the publication's internal matters, its editorial content remains independent of any university authority or student group.
Both the newspaper and website are highly decorated publications. The Maneater has been consistently distinguished by state and national press honors, including several ACP Pacemaker Awards, Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards and Missouri College Media Association Better Newspaper Contest awards.
The Pacemaker Award, widely considered the Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism, has been awarded to The Maneater newspaper four times, in 1996, 1999, 2001 and 2007. The paper was a finalist in 1993, 1994, 2000 and 2012. The Maneater website has received the Online Pacemaker (established in 2000) five times, in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2012. It was a finalist in 2005.
Since 2001, The Maneater has also produced an entertainment weekly called MOVE Magazine. MOVE is aimed at local and national entertainment news and reviews in addition to a more recent focus on the Columbia, Mo. cultural scene. In 2012 and 2013, MOVE featured interviews with artists such as Passion Pit, Wilco, Ingrid Michaelson and The Wonder Years. Semester special editions have included coverage of Columbia's Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival and the True/False Film Fest.
Prior to fall 2013, MOVE had been published as an insert within The Maneater, under its own style and design guidelines, with the eventual hope that it could develop into its own distinct publication. However, under the 2013/2014 editorial board, MOVE has replaced the Arts and Entertainment section of the newspaper and will be integrated more uniformly with the rest of The Maneater. MOVE will continue to maintain a separate web presence at move.themaneater.com.
The Maneater's editor-in-chief is elected by the staff. The editor-in-chief appoints a managing editor, who works with the editor-in-chief to hire the editorial staff. All staff must be current MU students, undergraduate or graduate, enrolled in at least six credit hours. Though not officially required, previous staff experience is preferred in the editorial hiring process.
Recent editors-in-chief / managing editors
- 2014-15: Katie Pohlman/Lauren Rutherford/Scott MacDonald
- 2013-14: Ted Noelker/Delia Cai
- 2012-13: Kelly Olejnik/Pat Iversen/Kelsey Maffett
- 2011-12: Travis Cornejo/Katherine Moritz/Abby Spudich
- 2010-11: Zachary Toombs/Lyndsie Manusos
- 2009-10: Josh Barone/Mary Daly
- 2008-09: Elliot Njus/Michael Sewall
- 2007-08: Steve Oslica/Rae Nudson
- 2006-07: Lee Logan/Maggie Creamer
- 2005-06: Jenna Youngs/Derek Kravitz/Coulter Jones
- 2004-05: Sarah Larimer/Sam Baker
- 2003-04: Tim Elfrink/Blythe Terrell
- 2002-03: Nick Choate/Stephanie Grasmick
- 2001-02: Patrick Terpstra/Tim Leong
- 2000-01: Paul Wilson/Chris Heisel
- 1999-2000: Jake Wagman/Julie Bykowicz
- 1998-99: John Roby/David Griner
- 1997-98: Jennifer Dlouhy/Kelly Wiese
- 1996-97: Carmel Snyder/Jennifer Campbell
- 1995-96: Patrick Strawbridge/Carmel Snyder
- 1994-95: Justin Hyde/Gina Hosler
- 1993-94: Sarah Karp/David A. Lieb
- 1992-93: Catherine Senderling/Anthony Beckman
- 1991-92: Frank Gluck/Rexx Dickson
- 1990-91: Grant Barrett/Chris Blake
- 1989-90: John Hedgecoth/Devona Walker
- 1988-89: Marc Attenberg/Mick Normington
Most staff members of The Maneater — including editors, writers, photographers, designers, multimedia producers and advertising account representatives — are undergraduate students at the University of Missouri, though graduate students are also eligible to work for the student publication. Each spring, the staff elects an editor-in-chief and business manager to administer the publication in the coming year. Traditionally, the editor-in-chief and managing editor run as a slate. The elected slate then opens applications for editorial and business positions. The hired editors in turn appoint beat writers and columnists to regularly cover recurring topics. The remainder of the staff varies in size. Anyone who has worked in an editorial capacity within the last year is considered part of the active staff. The staff pitches stories to the editors or pick up general assignments as they come up. The Maneater has historically identified itself as a "learning paper" and welcomes students from all of the University of Missouri's schools and colleges, with or without prior journalism experience.
Maneater alumni have gone on to work in many of the nation’s top newsrooms, including The Associated Press, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, USA Today and The Washington Post. They include veteran broadcaster Betsey Bruce, author and reporter Bryan Burrough, Yahoo Sports columnist Pat Forde, The Riverfront Times founder Ray Hartmann and author and Pulitzer Prize-winner Ron Powers, among others. Through donations from its alumni, The Maneater awards an annual merit-based scholarship to a member of its current staff.