Maneater alumni testimonials Vol. 2: The Maneater is messy, beloved, difficult, incredible and absolutely necessary for Mizzou
In their own words, Maneaters from across the generations share the wisdom they gained during their days in MU’s independent student newsroom.
Mar. 01, 2020
In light of the upcoming referendum on the future of student media, Maneater alumni share the importance of student media in their own lives and careers to inspire students to support The Maneater during the MSA presidential election, March 2-4.
In their own words, here are some Maneater alumni testimonials, from the class of 1985 to 2018:
Class of 2003, current director of community affairs for the Humane Society Naples.
I was at The Maneater as a staff writer from 1998-1999, as arts editor from 1999 - 2000, and a columnist from 2000 - 2001. I remember my J105 professor, Roger Gafke, letting me use Maneater assignments for class because I "was already doing interviews and real stories." [I remember] a memorable speech by Don Ranly about how we were at the Maneater because "we couldn't not be there." I felt like I was way ahead of the students who didn't have student media experience during my Missourian semester, and went on to TA for two semesters after.
Class of 1997, current lead Cardinals/baseball writer at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, former president of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America
If not for The Maneater, I wouldn't be a baseball writer, wouldn't have the career I didn't even dream was possible. Period. I was a staff writer at The Maneater from 1993-94, sports editor 1994, and a cartoonist there from 1993-1997. It was not my intent to cover sports at Mizzou, or as a job. Too few jobs, too hard to get.
My first few stories were about campus government and politics, but based on them, the sports editor offered me a chance to cover the football team. I cut him a deal. I would, if I got to cover baseball in the spring. The Maneater was my Penn & Teller on sportswriting — showing me how the magic was done, and then how to pull off a few tricks of my own.
The Maneater gave me a chance to cover games, to travel for those games — and then challenged me to break news and develop features on a beat that demands a variety of stories. Based on being around on the beat for The Maneater, the Columbia Daily Tribune offered me a sportswriting job and I've been at a daily newspaper ever since. The Maneater made that possible, picked the lock to open that door. (Also: If not for The Maneater, I wouldn't have had three of the groomsmen at my wedding.)
Class of 1995, current current senior staff editor for Special Sections at The New York Times
I'm a proud alumna of Mizzou and its School of Journalism, but I wouldn't be the journalist or the person I am today without The Maneater. When I toured Mizzou as a prospective student, it was a J-School professor who handed me a copy of The Maneater and urged me to work there not only to gain experience and clips but also to meet and learn from the J-School students on its staff. The Maneater was my introduction to the Missouri Method, and it helped me forge lifetime friendships and professional connections. I worked there from freshman year to graduation, starting as a reporter and finishing as Editor-in-Chief. Along the way, I lived, learned and laughed — a lot. I have zero regrets.
Class of 2016, current Dallas Courts reporter for Law360
I was a reporter from 2012-13, university news editor from 2013-14 and Editor-in-Chief from 2014-15. The Maneater taught me how to write news on deadline, how to edit for AP style and how to always ask questions and keep campus leaders accountable. It was also where I learned to deal with the not-so-fun side of journalism: comments and criticism. It prepared me better for the Missourian and future jobs than any J-school class did. I wouldn’t trade the good and bad times for anything and that’s why I have the Maneater green CMYK combo tattooed on my wrist.
Class of 2018, current creative director of Paper Hat Design Co.
I was the MOVE Magazine editor and then managing editor from 2016-2017. The Maneater taught me, by epic successes and flaming failures, everything I know about professional journalism. I'm now a professional editor at a Duke magazine and I'm running a successful freelance graphic design business on the side. The Maneater was absolutely integral to my growth as a person and a professional — and I would not be the same person without it. The Maneater is messy and beloved and difficult and incredible and absolutely necessary for students at Mizzou. (Also I got the Maneater Scholarship and it helped me graduate early!!)
Class of 1985, former senior reporter at the Daily Press for 28 years
I can't imagine many — if any — campus newspaper staffs could match the level of talent and commitment routinely seen at The Maneater. I've got three and a half decades as a professional journalist under my belt, and I can tell you that my time at The Maneater was profound preparation. We learned to work as a team on real deadlines, and the level of talent and ambition in the paper's leadership from one year to the next demanded quality and hard work. It was an incredible environment in which to incubate young, hungry talent.
Class of 2010, current marketing and communications manager at Asia Society Texas Center, former photojournalist at the York Daily Record
Working at The Maneater, first as a photographer and then as photo editor, was empowering. As a 19-year-old with a point-and-shoot camera, I saw early on that Maneater editors were generous with giving us clueless freshmen opportunities to learn, room to grow and freedom to explore. Just as importantly, curiosity, tenacity, risk-taking and enthusiasm were equally rewarded, and even valued over technical prowess. (I'll never forget how a reporter and I accidentally ended up covering Gov. Matt Blunt's State of the State Address.) The skills I learned in my two years at The Maneater overprepared me for the next two years of political reporting, photography, and photo-editing at The Missourian and made me a better photojournalist, as well as a better colleague and leader both inside and outside of newsrooms. : http://themaneater.com/media/2020/31/photos/alum testimonial 2.jpeg