Why should you read The Daily Texan during your time on the 40 Acres? In part, for the same reason you put your horns up at a football game: It’s a Texas tradition, and it’s a simple way of showing the people around you that you take pride in and care about your University.
Over 113 years of existence, The Daily Texan has established itself as a campus institution — a place where students, faculty and staff go for both campus news and student opinions.
During the school year, the Texan prints five days a week, sending thousands of newspapers out across our campus and the city of Austin. Our editorial staff consists entirely of students, and our content zeroes in on the UT-Austin campus, the place you live and work, and a place whose intricacies, traditions and problems are often overlooked by larger media outlets.
What kind of coverage has our sharp focus on campus issues produced?
In the past year alone, the Texan has uncovered reports of inappropriate conduct between a football coach and a student.
We’ve drawn attention to a professor who authored academic studies on fracking while being paid nearly twice his salary to serve on the board of directors of a fracking company, a clear conflict of interest.
We’ve relentlessly covered the battles between UT President William Powers Jr. and the UT System Board of Regents (while providing an explanation of who the regents are and what they’re doing — see this edition’s news section for an introduction to the ongoing controversy).
In our Life & Arts section in February, we shared one student’s opinion on the demise of the iconic South Congress food trailer park and what it meant for the city of Austin — an article that received over 39,000 unique pageviews on our website.
It’s true that the Texan, like many newspapers, is facing financial difficulties.
In March, the Texas Student Media Board of Trustees, which oversees the Daily Texan, made the difficult decision to cut staff pay in order to maintain our five-day-a-week print schedule.
But our staffers have remained committed to providing our print product to the UT community. And we haven’t stopped our efforts to expand our digital presence — in the past three months alone, The Daily Texan’s main account, @thedailytexan, has gained more than 1,500 followers on Twitter, putting us at more than 24,500 followers at the time of print.
That’s a lot of people listening — and we’re not about to make it a one-way conversation. When you pick up the Texan, just like when you put up your horns, you’re engaging with your University and its community. You’re showing those around you that you care.
Just like our football team, we at the Texan want to hear you cheering us on when we have a win. But we also need and desire your criticism, your opinions and your frustrations when we fumble the ball. Tell us what you think over Twitter, Facebook, the comments section of our website or through e-mailing me, Editor-in-Chief Laura Wright, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Texas is a big place. The Daily Texan is here to help you make sense of campus one day at a time — through hashing out your thoughts on our opinion page, covering campus cultural events in Life&Arts and reporting on the latest developments in University politics in our news section.
So when you set foot on campus — put up your horns. But also pick up the Texan.
Wright is editor-in-chief of The Daily Texan. Follow Wright on Twitter @wrightlauras.