Editorial: The Maneater joins the call to #SaveStudentNewsrooms

Our editorial board has decided to stand for student journalism along with dozens of collegiate student-run publications.
The Maneater joins the #SaveStudentNewsrooms movement with other college publications to raise awareness of the importance of student journalism.

Journalism as an industry has struggled financially the past decade, and student journalism is no different. At The Maneater, we know this all too well. We have struggled with financial constraints and debt, just as other student-run collegiate papers and Mizzou Student Media groups have.

While this is a difficult time for journalism, with facts being labeled as fake news, student-run newspapers are coming together to express the importance of student journalism. This is in response to the decision made by Southern Methodist University’s independent, student-run publication, The Daily Campus, to dissolve and re-affiliate with the university due to lack of funds.

Student journalism is essential to keep powers in check that are at times left unaccounted for by larger media outlets. A newspaper owned and operated by a university would more than likely face pressures to not be overly critical of the university and its interests. Student journalists at independent papers do not face these pressures.

A wealth of information would be lost without a student newspaper. Student politics, clubs and smaller-scale sports programs would lose coverage. At MU, The Maneater covers several MU sports that are often overlooked by larger papers. We provide continuous coverage of the Missouri Students Association, something other local publications tend not to cover. And lastly, our coverage of the 2015 protests was incredibly thorough, so much so that The Maneater’s interactive timeline was linked in coverage by outlets such as The New York Times.

Student journalism also plays an important role in fostering future journalists. Where else would future journalists hone their skills outside of classes or internships? Not all students can pursue internships, many of which are unpaid, due to financial constraints. This leaves student publications as the sole outlet for growth for many student journalists. While student newspapers are far from perfect, they allow writers, reporters and editors to learn and make mistakes before applying to work at major publications.

The Maneater prides itself with being a teaching, student-run publication that is not exclusive to journalism majors. The fact that a small group of mostly freshman and sophomore students can come together each week and produce a print product is a testament to our dedication to journalism. But it is concerning that the student-run newspaper at a university with one of the top journalism schools in the country is struggling to operate. The future of our publication is unknown; we have more debt now than ever before in recent history. This is why we join other student publications across the country to ask for your support.

The Maneater is more than a student publication. It is a place for passionate student journalists to find their niche at MU and make friends in a new environment. It is a place you can find friends who will collaborate with you, critique you and genuinely care about you outside of the newsroom. The Maneater is a publication that covers everything from local musicians to the UM System president. We have done so since 1955, and we hope to do so for years to come.

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