From the editor’s desk: trust the thresher. Journalism is our job.

Photo courtesy of Ivanka Perez

By Ivanka Perez 11/30/21 11:23 PM

Two years ago, a group of Thresher employees traveled to Washington DC to attend the College Media Association’s annual convention, where student journalists raised concerns that their communities did not take them seriously. Administrators hung out with them and ignored emails, and the cover 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 that they are afraid to talk to us and often get mad at us for the mistakes we don’t make.

While my happiest memories come from positive experiences I have had at Thresher, I have learned the most from interacting with people who see us as an adversary. Senior administrators accused me of unethical journalism, when I actually took their responses verbatim from a response intended for the article. I have received emails listing the reasons why an opinion piece was inaccurate, when we had evidence to support each of the claims listed. In all cases, the complaints arose out of the assumption that we had malicious intent.

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

As this is my last week working with the thresher – the organization I have dedicated my Mondays and Tuesdays to for the past four years – I would be remiss if I left without thanking the people who shaped my experience. Thanks to Kelley Lash, the most patient and enthusiastic soul, whose journalistic wisdom is limitless. To Christina Tan and Anna Ta, for being passionate, motivated and inspiring leaders. To Rishab Ramapriyan and Amy Qin, for making me feel welcome to our management team and for sharing those wacky Tuesday nights with me. To Savannah Kuchar and Ben Baker-Katz, for brightening up my days with light and laughter. And to all of the Thresher staff for cucumber photos, outfit themed page designs, and late night chats. And for making this the most difficult farewell.

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