1. We do it best.
At the Missouri College Media Association Convention last year, we overheard a journalist at another table say “take a shot every time [The Maneater] wins something.” That would be inadvisable, as we won 24 awards that night. We took first place in the categories of In-Depth News Reporting, Multimedia Package, Feature Writing, Sports Writing, Investigative Reporting, Column Writing, Sports Column Writing, and Photo Page. We also took home the awards of Overall Newspaper, Best in State, and First Place in Sweepstakes.
During the events of last fall, our coverage of the protests at MU and the eventual resignation of the UM System President was cited by numerous national news sources and many others reached out to us, including CNN, NPR, and Slate. Our interactive timeline was also cited by many sources, won first place at MCMA, and become our most-trafficked story in a matter of weeks. Poynter wrote a feature on our reporting. The Maneater is an award-winning student newspaper known in in professional newsrooms across America.
2. We’re a tradition.
Joel Gold, who founded The Maneater in 1955, wrote these words in the paper’s first editorial policy: “If you want to keep us out, better bar the door. And don’t try getting rough or screaming ‘libel’ when a Maneater reporter crashes your meetings. When The Maneater gets mad, all hell is going to break loose. You’ve been warned.”
Maybe a bit dramatic, but that’s been our rallying cry for 61 years. We haven’t always gotten it right (and let’s be real — sometimes we’ve gotten it very wrong) but for over half a decade, we’ve been there. We have a long-standing history of writing fierce editorials, infiltrating student government meetings, and pissing off administrators. Also, throwing burning typewriters out the window of Read Hall. Yeah. That was a thing we did.
3. We’re a family.
Let’s be honest: College can be a lonely place. You’re broker than you’ve ever been and working harder than you ever have, and you’re doing it all by yourself. We’re a spirited bunch and we take care of our own. We work hard, play hard, and help each other survive the J-school. (I have a mean J-1100 study guide my friends made that I will share with literally anyone; just hit me up.)
Then, there’s family, in the stereotypically Italian sense. Welcome to the Maneater Mafia: a network of former ‘Eaters scattered all over the country. We have alumni at the LA Times, AP, The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, and more. Looking for connections? The best journalists at America’s top journalism school have you covered.
4. We’ll show you the ropes.
“Okay,” you’re saying. “I guess that all sounds cool, but gosh, you man-eating people sure sound intense.” Don’t worry about it! We’ll ease you in (I, for one, have never been a fan of running freshmen into the ground) and teach you everything you need to know. You don’t actually need experience to join, and The Maneater is the perfect place to start learning journalism. We don’t grade you. We don’t expect you to know what you’re doing at first. We expect you to make mistakes and learn from them, and the editorial board will be there with you to minimize those mistakes. They’re some of my best friends in the world. There’s something to be learned from all of them.
5. We want you.
Actually, we kind of need you. I didn’t realize it when I first started, but most of The Maneater’s writers are actually freshmen. Because of the way the J-school works, most people leave the paper to work for the Missourian their junior year or sooner. (That’s what makes our awards so impressive: While other papers have four years to train their writers, we make it happen in one or two.) We desperately want new applicants to join.
If you’re coming to MU, you’ve probably got big dreams. We need that energy, and we want to help you achieve them. Just, please — don’t set our equipment on fire. Mac computers don’t recover from fire damage very well, and the ventilation in the basement of the Student Center is piss-poor.