News desk editor remembers life in the basement, hates webheads

Estefania Espinosa

Editor’s note: A 30 column is a chance for departing permanent staff to say farewell and reflect on their time spent in The Daily Texan’s basement office. The term comes from the old typesetting mark (-30-) to denote the end of a line. 

My two semesters at The Daily Texan have been marked by late nights, struggling to get a hold of sources and reporters and generally stressing out about everything. My only regret is not trying out sooner.

I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to match the quality content. So I never applied.

Until last September, when a sudden surge of courage pushed me to give myself a chance.

I joined the copy department first, where I met the Thursday Taboo Tingz. We had the most fun anyone can have while deleting Oxford commas and consulting strangers’ LinkedIn accounts.

News was a little trickier. I spent an entire weekend thinking I’d been rejected, because I didn’t hear from anyone. I texted the editors to find out what I could have done differently. Sam replied with congratulations, exclamation points and celebratory emojis. That was the first of many emotional roller coasters as a Texan staffer.

I’ve learned more about being a journalist during my short time at The Daily Texan than I ever could have in a classroom. However, the value of working at this college newspaper doesn’t lie in reporting skills or knowledge of AP style. It’s the moment you realize the people you meet in the basement aren’t your coworkers; they’re
your family.

For me, that moment happened late one night, as I was fact-checking stories. I received the worst news I’ve ever gotten. Although we were nowhere near finished and we were already missing a copy kitten, Myra and Amy hugged me and told me to go home. I will never have enough inches to express my gratitude to them, but I hope they realize the impact this had on me.

I owe so much to my Daily Texan family. Sam, thank you for letting me be a part of your team. Wynne, I’m glad you randomly messaged me on Facebook, offering me not only a job, but also your friendship. Copy family, I will never forget Myra’s obsession with the nail polish emoji, Nicole’s inevitable laps around the office or Akshay’s Australian perspective — and accent. Natalie, Ellie, Catherine and Rund, thanks for helping me keep the reporters in check. Just kidding. Kind of. Senior reporters, your dedication and work ethic were truly inspiring. General reporters, it’s been an honor to watch you grow as journalists. Friends from random departments, Amy, Jackie, Elly, Rachel, Gabriel, Anthony, Lillian, Iliana, Kelly, you’re awesome. Peter, you’re not bad.

So, if you ever need a friend who will drive almost 12 hours through flooded streets to get you home, let you crash on her couch because you’re a little drunk from the last-day-of-print party or lend you her clothes because yours are soaked from kayaking, you should work at The Daily Texan.