Free Tiger Web site features news, creative writing

The Web site launched Oct. 2.

Three former staff writers for The Maneater have launched a student-run Web site they describe as a blend between news and creative writing.

"We do think of ourselves as sort of a mixture," said Eva Dou, founder of The Free Tiger Web site and former Maneater staff writer. "We felt like there wasn't a well known literary magazine open to students. And with news, there's already The Maneater, but we wanted something with a more feature-focused aesthetic where students can write about whatever they want to."

The Free Tiger went online Oct. 2 and features news articles, such as a story about the chairs in the Reynolds Journalism Institute, as well as students' creative writing, such as a short story about a farmer in Minnesota, both published on the site's launch date.

Dou related The Free Tiger to other news publications and Web sites in recent years, including MU Student News, which ceased publication in the summer 2008 after nine volumes.

"In the past there have been several other magazines and newspapers other than The Maneater that have come and gone," Dou said. "After MU Student News there really hasn't been another one and we feel like we can find a niche here where some of those had one."

Dou said sophomores Brendan Gibbons and Greg Young, both of whom are also former staff writers for The Maneater, are also heavily involved in the Web site and she first began seeking help for the Web site by telling friends.

"We have a really loose structure right now between Eva, Brendan and myself,” Young said. “We're not quite as organized as some of the other places on campus right now. I think our niche will be covering more student-based news, like rec sports. We're also trying to reach out to non-journalism students to do creative writing, somewhat like what The Maneater's MOVE Magazine does."

Gibbons said the Web site's focus on creative writing is what sets it apart.

"We realize we're not going to be able to have timely coverage of everything that happens on campus, we're not capable of that now," Gibbons said. "But we think we're a publication where students can tell whatever stories they want to tell."

Dou said many features she'd like the Web site to eventually offer are in the planning stages.

"Because we don't have a print publication we're really just working on online-based reporting," Dou said. "A lot of stuff is in the works right now."

Although Dou said she hopes to eventually be able to compensate staff members, nothing is in the works yet on the business side of the Web site.

"We'd like to eventually be able to pay writers, like at The Maneater, but with an online-only publication, this means building up a readership first before we can approach advertisers," Dou said. "We'd like to eventually have an office, it'd make it easier to meet with our writers. We'd like to be self sustaining, obviously that may be a ways off, it's a very long term goal."

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