The Daily Texan
The December 5, 2005 front page of The Daily Texan.
|Owner(s)||The University of Texas|
|Publisher||Texas Student Media|
|Headquarters||Austin, Texas, United States|
The Daily Texan is the student newspaper of the University of Texas at Austin. It is entirely student-run and independent from the university. It is one of the largest college newspapers in the United States, with a daily circulation of roughly 30,000 during the fall and spring semesters, and it is among the oldest student newspapers in the South. The Texan has won more national, regional and state awards than any other college newspaper in America and counts 10 Pulitzer Prize winners among its former staff.
A number of comic artists who began in the Texan went on to have commercial success. The most notable of these are Chris Ware, creator of Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth, Berkeley Breathed, creator of Academia Waltz, the predecessor to Bloom County, and Robert Rodriguez, director of Sin City. Hepcats by Martin Wagner and Eyebeam by Sam Hurt also found continued success after their creators had left the University of Texas.
The Texan's origins date back to 1900, when two privately owned weekly newspapers were distributed on campus — the Calendar and the Ranger. In 1904 the two papers were taken over by the student council and merged. In 1913, the student body voted to publish the paper each weekday, and The Daily Texan was born on September 24, 1913.
In 2008, The Daily Texan was one of three student newspapers that owned and operated its own printing press. Originally acquired in 1973 for US$222,000 (US$1,080,606 adjusted), the press was put on the market in 2009. In May 2009, the Austin American-Statesman began printing The Daily Texan.
Most of the staff positions are paid and the top two positions offer a stipend that covers nearly nine hours of paid in-state tuition and fee scholarships. Historically, the position of editor of The Daily Texan has been elected. The logic of an elected editor historically has been based on the newspaper's having been founded and owned by students and then given over to the student body. More recently, it has been argued that because students were compelled to fund the paper through the payment of mandatory student service fees, they should have some say in the paper's overall direction. In addition, the elected editor has been seen as a way to protect the paper from institutional censorship from the university. Since the student body selects the editor of the paper, this ensures that the university administration cannot install an editor sympathetic to its views and thereby control the content of the newspaper.
In modern times, editorial candidates have been screened by the Texas Student Publications Board (TSP Board), an entity with faculty, student, and newspaper industry representatives. The TSP Board publishes a handbook which sets forth the requirements an editorial candidate must meet before his or her name may be placed on the ballot. The board has been resistant to the idea of an elected editor and has made several attempts to convert the position to an appointed one. The most recent attempt, led by the board president, was in 2005.
The TSP Board currently appoints the managing editor, who oversees the daily operation of the paper while the elected editor generally stewards the editorial page. However, the elected editor retains the final say over the content of the newspaper.
The Texan has won many prestigious awards, including the Associated Collegiate Press' "Pacemaker Award" in 1965, 1969, 1971 and 1985, and the Columbia Scholastic Press' Gold Crown Award in 1984, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2005 and 2006. Most recently the Texan won TAPME's Newspaper of the Year Award for 2015.
Notable staff alumni
- Bill Barminski
- Lisa Beyer
- Berke Breathed
- Walter Cronkite
- Mike Godwin
- Karen Elliott House
- Deborah Howell
- Dan Malone
- Willie Morris
- Bill Moyers
- John Patric
- Larry C. Price
- Robert Rodriguez
- Liz Smith
- Karen Tumulty
- Siva Vaidhyanathan
- Rob Walker
- Chris Ware
- Robert Wilonsky
- Mark McKinnon
- Monica Riese
- Lady Bird Johnson
- Kreighbaum, Andrew (2008-11-24). "Board delays motion to sell printing press". The Daily Texan. Archived from the original on 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- McKenzie, Ana (2009-05-13). "Sounds of doubt as press hum fades". The Daily Texan. Archived from the original on 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- Beach, Patrick (2005-04-22). "Battle over Daily Texan editorship replays itself". The Pulse-Journal. Archived from the original on 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- DeBard, Amanda; Jankowski, Philip (2007-07-12). "A former first lady leaves us her legacy". The Daily Texan. Archived from the original on 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- Copp, Tara, and Rogers, Robert L. The Daily Texan: The First 100 Years – Copp, Tara; Rogers, Robert L. (Eakin Press 1999, ISBN 1-57168-302-X).
- The Daily Texan
- The Daily Texan from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Editors of The Daily Texan — compiled by John Economidy