The Rice Thresher is the weekly, student-run newspaper of Rice University in Houston, Texas, United States. It was founded in 1916, the year of Rice University's first matriculation It has an estimated circulation of 6,000, given on-campus distribution, subscriptions and off-campus distribution at area businesses, including Kahn's Deli in the Rice Village and House of Pies.
The Thresher has won several awards from the Associated College Press, including 2007 Best in Show for a tabloid weekly, 2005 First Place for a tabloid weekly, and 2003 ACP Newspaper Pacemaker Finalist.
In 1992, the Thresher
broke a cheating scandal, revealing athlete corruption while the university refused to confirm or deny the events. The Thresher
's coverage got it national recognition.
is separated into five sections: News, Sports, Arts and Entertainment, Features, Opinion and Backpage. The Backpage is satire and not published on the Website.
News focuses almost entirely on campus events.
Opinion is usually limited to two pages, though it has been extended to three, four or even five pages given special events such as Hurricane Rita, KTRU shutdown, gay marriage debates and, most recently, the Invisible Children rally. The first page, usually page 2, contains staff editorials, letters and a cartoon. The second page usually contains three columns. Columns are usually limited to students or people in the Rice community, but besides these requirements the Thresher
opinion section has an open submission policy. The opinion editor often writes columns as well.
The Opinion section has been home to several awards won by the Thresher
, including Society of Professional Journalists 2006 Region 8 Mark of Excellence for First Place in Editorial Cartooning.
With Rice's Division I-A status, Thresher
Sports is unusually large for a weekly paper of a small school. It also focuses on intramural and residential college sports. A recent addition, named Page 2.5, runs bi-weekly and showcases sport satire, with a focus on Rice athletics. In 2008, Casey Michel and Dylan Farmer received Region 8 Mark of Excellence Awards for sports column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists.
Arts and Entertainment
A&E reviews campus plays, new movies, music and often contains a column by the editor or other writers.
Its existence dependent upon an editor to run it, Features deals mostly with student interest stories.
There is a section called "the Backpage" including regular feature "Misclassifieds" (Misclass), in which students would write embarrassing stories about their friends. Now they are funny and embarrassing quotes heard around campus. In recent years, the Backpage has taken on more of a humor or satire theme, addressing issues on campus.
The Backpage has resulted in many controversies over the years, including at November 1996 Backpage titled "Rice Women Are Like...," a Misclass concerning former Rice president Malcolm Gillis' wife, and a September 2006 Backpage that received attention from blogs, including mixedmediawatch.com, all of which resulted in apologies or firings.