Letter from the editor: A fresh coat

In 1955, Joel Gold shed the Missouri Student’s skin and dubbed his paper The Maneater. In 1969, it shifted its production to a semi-weekly. In 1970, it began distributing its issues free of charge to the campus.

As a student publication of the University of Missouri, The Maneater has continuously reshaped and reformed itself as a courier of student news. The Maneater has been a lot of things in the last 59 years: aggressive, abrasive, free-thinking, relevant, controversial, well-reasoned, unfounded, a student-defender, well-received, disregarded and just plain wrong. Above all, though, I think it has been adaptive.

The Maneater is ever a product of its time and its constant turnover of student staff. Today, this has transformed the paper into a holistic publication that encompasses a range of print and digital properties. In an effort to meet the rising demand of immediate news and the growing capacity and versatility of the digital space, The Maneater is scaling back the frequency of its newspaper to a weekly publication, published every Wednesday during the fall and spring semesters, for favor of a more thorough web presence.

While this shift will allow us to devote unprecedented resources to our digital medium as a go-to source of timely and in-depth news, it will also re-establish the basis of our printed product. The redesign unveiled by this issue forms the foundation of a more comprehensive weekly news digest. We concede that our newspaper is no longer a vehicle for delivering the first draft of the news. Rather, the paper will be marked by its endeavor to dig deeper and present the gripping facts, highlight the need-to-know and lesser-known stories, paint the bigger picture and generally examine the topics of the week past and the week to come in a compelling — but not overly drawn-out — manner.

The paper’s new design embraces the dynamic and visual side of the news. Larger graphics and photos accompany these stories to convey the news through all its elements. At times, photos are capable of presenting the impact of their subject better than words; graphics strive to organize and simplify information in ways a paragraph structure cannot; and stories now emerge from a more stringent editing system that maximize their reporting.

Let me be very clear: This is not a concession to the disease plaguing many other newspaper circulations. We believe it strengthens the position of our publication across all its efforts, and would like to assure our readership that, like it or not, The Maneater has its teeth freshly sharpen, bared and firmly sunk in to the MU community.

To echo Gold’s words in his first issue: You’ve been warned.


Ted Noelker

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