Letter from the Editor
Jared Kaufman, Editor-in-Chief
With over half of our Editorial Board away from Columbia during the summer and without having hired beat writers yet, July has been a challenging month in some ways. However, we’ve remained as active as we can be in the Missouri humidity. (Cut me some slack, I’m from Minnesota — not used to this yet!)
With the nomination of Tim Kaine, an MU graduate, to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate, we were able to score a major social media victory. We had two Savitar photos of him from the late 1970s in our arsenal, and we posted one before Clinton made the announcement and the other right after the news broke. Our engagement numbers on both Facebook and Twitter were through the roof — tens of thousands of people saw our posts on each platform, making those posts among our most successful ever. We were also recently “verified” on Twitter, giving us a little blue checkmark and more legitimacy.
— The Maneater (@TheManeater) July 23, 2016
We also finished up Summer Welcome in mid-July. Many new names on our listservs and subscribers to our newsletter will mean more engagement on our stories and more interest in picking up pitches. Many of our July stories were written by freshmen who haven’t even begun classes at MU yet, and I’m stoked at how eager our writers are. Picking which beat writer applicants to hire at the beginning of August could be tough!
Sports has driven our online content this month, from our swimmers just missing Olympics spots, to Mack Rhoades leaving MU for Baylor (why?!), to softball transfers and promising freshmen. Our University News section has also been very strong in the news department, keeping up with the latest in administration and student affairs, and our July print issue featured MOVE’s local music coverage in full force. Our visual cover looks spectacular and the themed content inside is an impressive mix as well.
Recently I’ve developed something of a hobby of surfing through The Savitar’s digitized yearbook archives, and I’ve come across many interesting stories and photos of The Maneater (and my journalism professors) in years past. It’s been interesting to see how our paper has grown and changed over the years. Looking through The Maneater’s own bound archives yields some treasures as well. In both MOVE and the Opinion section in July’s print issue, we featured content from our archives. It’s a cool way to connect to our history and draw parallels between current stories and past coverage, and it’s a goal of mine to keep that up.
Our Student Politics editor, Emily Gallion, wrote up a list of five reasons to join The Maneater for a recent pitch email. I was struck by it, so I published it on our The Newsroom blog with archival photos I found in the Savitar archives. I encourage you to read it. She writes that our alums are “family, in the most stereotypically Italian sense” — the Maneater Mafia. And for newbies, she offers this Read Hall-era request: “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.”
The Maneater Picks: July’s Top Five Stories
Let’s face it: Covering University News — curators, academic associations, hiring and firing professors, legislative investigations — is complicated and daunting. But freshman writer Fiona Murphy took on the American Association of University Professors’ recent censuring of MU and dove into the history between the university and the AAUP, surfacing with a clear, compelling breakdown of the relationship and the contextual elements at play.
Another freshman writer, Nick Kelly, profiled freshman basketball recruit Reed Nikko. Kelly’s use of an umbrella motif throughout the story tied together different aspects of Nikko’s life in a way that moved the story from biographical to almost analytical. This is a well-sourced sports profile that’s accessible even to people who aren’t die-hard sports fans, which is excellent.
For a fresh take on Missouri quarterback Drew Lock in anticipation of the upcoming season, sports editor Alec Lewis went to Lock’s father, Andy. The elder Lock was frank about his son’s playing performance, and Alec created a comprehensive preview of Lock’s season with a healthy dose of Andy’s optimism.
MOVE Magazine columnist Regina Anderson digs into the power of music in this piece reminiscent of the New York Times’ “Modern Love” series. She travels into her past to make a powerful argument for the importance of music as a way to unite and bring people together.
Movie reviewer Jack Cronin takes on the Netflix animated series “BoJack Horseman.” Cronin is good at finding nuance in the shows and movies he reviews, and his columns are enjoyable to read and give me an interesting perspective on what he watches. He explains that “BoJack Horseman” balances being casual and funny with being serious and contemplative, and I think his columns do the same.
Allison Prang, 2010-12
I started a new job at American Banker in June 2016. I’m a reporter covering community banking based in New York.
James Patrick Schmidt, 2006-09
On April 10, my wife gave birth to our first child. Bryan Christopher Schmidt was born at a whopping 9 lbs, 6 oz. He looks mostly like me, but just enough like his mother to be adorable.
Darla Cameron and Lee Logan, 2004-08
We met at The Maneater in 2005 and welcomed our first baby, Charlie Cameron Logan, on February 29, 2016.
Bill Tammeus, 1965-66
My sixth book will be published in September by Skylight Paths Publishing, now an imprint of Turner Publishing of Nashville. It’s “The Value of Doubt: Why Unanswered Questions, Not Unquestioned Answers, Build Faith.” My first two books — “A Gift of Meaning” and “They Were Just People: Stories of Rescue in Poland During the Holocaust” — were published by the University of Missouri Press.
Francie Williamson, 1997-2000
I’ve left newspapers after 15 years in the field. Started working at The Stanley Foundation in Muscatine, IA in July.
Katherine Knott, 2012-16
I’m heading to Washington, D.C. where I’ll be interning for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Ask the Alums
What was the first piece of work you did for The Maneater, and how did it come about? Why was it memorable?
Mike Andersen, 1956-58
As a freshman in Fall, 1956, I bought a season ticket to MU football games for $5. I attended the first game, the first time I had gone to a game just to watch. I wrote about and took pictures of my high school games, and sold hot dogs at the U. of Kentucky games in my home town of Lexington. The Thursday after that first MU game I picked up the Maneater and saw all the football photos were “Courtesy of The Columbia Missourian.” So I trotted over to Read Hall and offered my services. Jane Glenn and Glen Kirkhoff gladly accepted me and sent me over to the Sports Information Office to get a sideline pass. Bill Callahan, the SID, told me, somewhat snidely, “We don’t give sideline passes to the student paper.” I was furious. It’s the student @#$%& team, I roared.
Then I went to Dean of Men Jack Mathews. I don’t know why I picked him except his office was also in Read Hall. Mathews said he had nothing to do with the athletic department (which wasn’t entirely true; he was the stadium PA announcer). I said, okay, can you direct me to the president’s office. At that point Mathews decided he could make a photo call, and I had photographer’s passes for all sports for rest of my time at MU. The next issue of the Maneater had my football pictures in it.
Andrew Blasko, 1991-95
I just attended the first staff meeting of The Maneater as a freshman in August 1991. I couldn’t wait to get started. But what to write? One night, the power went out on campus and that was my chance. While everybody was groping around and goofing off in the dark, I called Editor-in-Chief Frank Gluck at the ‘Eater office. He didn’t know me from Adam. I introduced myself, told him I was covering the power story and hung up. Then I went to work: I walked around campus with a notepad talking to people, getting quotes, writing descriptions of scenes.
When the power returned later that night, I wrote the story in my Mark Twain dorm room. Then I walked the copy over the Brady Commons office to file (no email back then, kids). The result? A Page One story and the start of some of my best days in college.
Jennifer Gordon Erickson, 1997-98
Mine was about a heart surgeon and I took it because I have a cousin who was born with serious congenital heart defects and the topic interested me.
It was the start of many health care stories of my career. I spent a number of years as a health care business reporter and then moved into health care PR. I’m now manager of Stakeholder & Clinical Engagement at Texas Health Resources (large nonprofit health system in DFW).
Francie Williamson, 1997-2000
Haha I remember my first story. It was about clothes from the Buckle at Columbia Mall. For features. For some reason I remember red high heeled faux leather boots and a spiky necklace. I miss 1997.
Michael Sewall, 2006-10
My first piece of work for The Maneater was before I even started as a student. While visiting MU in February 2006, I grabbed a copy of The Maneater and decided to write a letter to the editor. I was coming to MU to be a sportswriter, so I wrote a letter to the editor about how then-basketball coach Quin Snyder should be fired for his poor performance. The funny thing is, that letter went to press in the early hours of Feb. 10, 2006 — and by the end of the day Snyder resigned. Now, I’m not saying I brought down Mizzou’s basketball coach before even stepping foot on campus as a student, but it was quite the coincidence.
Another irony of this letter is that I write it’ll be hard to get excited about Mizzou sports during the time I’ll be there as a student. That couldn’t have been more wrong — Mizzou basketball made an Elite 8 run under coach Mike Anderson and the football team was ranked No. 1 behind Chase Daniel.
Anyway, I ended up going to Mizzou and picking up a U-News story on first-day enrollment numbers for the first issue of the year, just to get my foot in the door. I really enjoyed working with my editor, so I switched my focus from sports to campus news and by the next semester I was editing that section.
Kelsey Maffett, 2010-13
I went to a “meet the ed board”-type meeting my freshman year, and Alicia asked if I wanted to take on a crime story…and the rest is crime-filled history. My first story was a strange one, where a campus shuttle driver noticed his bus had a mysterious bullet hole in it. (And you can’t get much better alliteration for your first headline, eh?)
Pat Iversen, 2010-13
I think I was just bored over the summer before freshman year and I just asked if there was anything I could write for the summer issues. I ended up joining conference calls during Big 12 media days and writing this story up. Nothing memorable about it at the time, but looking back my Maneater life began covering this story of conference realignment and ended covering the move to the SEC. Time is a flat circle or something.
MacKenzie Reagan, 2013-15
My first story for the ‘Eater was a 150ish-word blurb for a feature another student and I had come up with. It turned into a weekly thing and helped me get acclimated to Mizzou’s campus. In the very first edition, I interviewed a kid who played the fiddle in Schurz, setting me on a path that’s led me to writing about music as a real job.
Waverly Colville, 2014-16
The first article I wrote as a new Missouri Students Association beat writer was MSA focuses on Chancellor’s Committees. As an ambitious yet intimidated freshman, I wanted to make a good impression on both my new boss and the student politicians I would be covering. I remember typing out all my questions I wanted to ask, printing out the Word document and reading each one off word-by-word (embarrassing, I know). I stepped into the former MSA vice president’s office with a death-grip on my recorder and took notes with shaking hands. This first article reminds me of how much The Maneater helped me grow as a journalist and become more confident. By my sophomore year, I could strut confidently into the MSA offices (though I’m sure many in MSA miss the days I was afraid of them).