Katherine Knott | Managing Editor
Sixty-one years ago, here’s how The Maneater’s founder Joel Gold defined this newspaper: “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.”
Times have changed since then. The Maneater looks different, and our newsroom has moved around campus. Yet, that core definition and editorial policy Gold set continue to drive our coverage. We exposed the wrongdoing of an MSA Presidential candidate, provided necessary context to the events of last November and sparked a discussion about campus leadership culture.
Before The Maneater, MU’s student voice was called “The Missouri Student,” which “signified nothing,” in Gold’s words. He was called in to fix it. A sociology major, he brought his friends from since-banned humor magazine and turned everything upside down, declaring The Missouri Student dead.
“If you want to keep us out, better bar the door,” he wrote in the inaugural issue of The Maneater. “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.”
At this start of the semester, editor-in-chief Elizabeth Loutfi and I shook some things up. We’re online-first and have daily content. We changed our approach to news (not covering events and scampering to cover every little news item). Instead, we are trying to follow-up more and hold those with power accountable. We want to tell the stories that make people fidget when a Maneater reporter wants into the room.
At a weekly budget meeting this past week, we chatted about stories in the works. An editor spoke up and discussed frustration with a source, “He canceled the interview, so I sunshined all his emails.”
We laughed and moved on with the meeting, but that throwaway comment shows The Maneater is living up to its name. We wouldn’t let an official stand in our way of getting the story.
We’re not perfect nor do we claim to be.
As we celebrate our birthday, we reaffirm our pledge to be an advocate for student interests. These are difficult times for our university. Don’t just stand on the sidelines. You can get involved by writing a letter to the editor or working for us. All you need to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org.