Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Monday, December 05, 2022 — Houston, TX

From the Senior Editor's Desk: Trust the Thresher. Journalism is our job.

ivanka-perez-headshot
Photo courtesy Ivanka Perez

By Ivanka Perez     11/30/21 11:23pm

Two years ago, a group of Thresher staffers went to Washington D.C. to attend the College Media Association’s annual convention, during which student journalists shared concerns that their communities didn’t take them seriously. Administrators would patronize them and ignore emails, and coverage often went unread.

I remember hearing their thoughts and being grateful that, for a school without a journalism program, Rice always took the Thresher seriously. Administrators respond to our interview requests, faculty write guest opinions and students read what we write. But sometimes I wonder if our community takes us too seriously — to the point where they fear speaking to us, and often grow angry with us for mistakes we don’t make. 

While my happiest memories come from positive experiences I’ve had at the Thresher, I’ve learned the most from interacting with people who view us as an adversary. I’ve had high-up administrators accuse me of unethical journalism, when I actually took their responses word-for-word from a response intended for the article. I’ve received emails listing ways that an opinion piece was inaccurate, when we had evidence backing up each of the listed claims. In every case, complaints stemmed from the assumption that we had malicious intent.



If you’re far-removed from the Thresher, it’s not hard to view us as an adversary — but a glimpse into how we operate will show you that our only goal is to convey the truth as clearly as we can. Outside of the Thresher, it’s hard to imagine the amount of time we spend poring over interview transcripts, writing and rewriting stories, and examining every word during the editing process. In reality, we’re a group of students who dedicate our entire Tuesdays, and a majority of our Mondays, toward ensuring our work is perfect. We strive to make our pieces as accurate, relevant and interesting as possible because we value these attributes, but also because we take pride in our work. 

Since this is my last week working with the Thresher — the organization I’ve dedicated my Mondays and Tuesdays to for the past four years — I would be remiss to leave without thanking the people who have shaped my experience. Thank you to Kelley Lash, the most patient and enthusiastic soul, whose journalistic wisdom is boundless. To Christina Tan and Anna Ta, for being such passionate, driven and inspiring leaders. To Rishab Ramapriyan and Amy Qin, for making me feel welcome in our leadership team and for sharing those delirious Tuesday nights with me. To Savannah Kuchar and Ben Baker-Katz, for brightening up my days with light and laughter. And to everyone on staff at the Thresher for cucumber photos, outfit-themed page designs and late-night talks. And for making this the hardest goodbye. 



More from The Rice Thresher

OPINION 11/29/22 11:00pm
Is using Fizz worth sacrificing our Culture of Care?

The social media app Fizz made its way to our campus earlier this semester, offering an anonymous discussion platform for exchanging messages and memes amongst Rice students. In recent weeks, antisemitic and racist posts were made by members of our community on this app. It is entirely hateful and dangerously intolerant. 

OPINION 11/29/22 10:54pm
International issues deserve our attention, too

Anyone who walked through the academic quad on Monday encountered the statue of William Marsh Rice visibly covered by sheets of A4 paper that read “习近平下台,” which roughly translates to “Resign Xi Jinping.” Other signs read “No emperor in a republic” and “Not my president.” These signs are part of larger protests happening in mainland China — that are being echoed by Chinese people across the world — in response to nearly three years of aggressive COVID lockdowns across the country. 

OPINION 11/15/22 10:21pm
Where we must agree: the politics of humanness

The words “free speech” will likely elicit groans from Thresher readers. Over the last three years, there have been three articles in the Opinion section bemoaning the need for a “classically liberal” political discourse at Rice. Unfortunately, between their self-righteousness and needless wordiness, they read more like whiny lectures than conversation starters. However, despite their condescension, their existence does suggest something unsettling about not just our campus politics, but politics at large. As the electorates of democracies around the world have become more sharply divided, the way we speak to each other, not just across the aisle but to our similarly minded partisans, has become more accusatory, exclusionary and violent. Put simply: we do not want to talk to each other, and understandably so. It is exhausting, and, more than that, we just don’t seem to know how to.


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