News desk editor says “maas-salaama,” goodbye to Texan family

Anusha Lalani

During my sophomore year I was sitting in one of my journalism classes when my professor asked, “Which one of you is working at The Daily Texan or any other place?” Almost half of the class raised their hand, while my hand remained down. 

I began to question myself: “What is The Daily Texan, and why am I not involved in it?” With those questions, I nervously made my way to one of the information sessions the Texan held for the spring semester and signed up for my two tryout shifts.

I’ll never forget my first edits. Ellie, then a news desk editor, sweetly explained to me what an inverted pyramid was in journalism by drawing on a sticky note and going through the whole story with me. She was so kind — and still is — and I will always be grateful for her. 

I will also be forever grateful to Wynne, my first news editor, who let me be a part of the news department and who I know I can still text or call to this day. I most certainly cannot forget Peter, too, for his sassy comments and the advice he gave me as I struggled to report at times.

And so began my journey at the Texan with its numerous phone interviews, pitch meetings, late-night edits, sources calling me “Anushi” and much more. I’m happy I got to experience it all, from being a general reporter, senior reporter and news desk editor. And although only two short years have passed, I will cherish every moment. 

The one person who really made my Texan experience a memorable one would be Catherine. I have no words to describe how much gratitude I have toward her for becoming my first friend at the Texan. I will most definitely miss our inside jokes no one else understood and our late-night walks back to our apartment. Even though I took a semester off from the Texan, I came back to familiar faces, like Catherine’s, and new ones too, who made my last semester unforgettable.  

Being a Muslim journalism student, it was hard to find a place where I would fit in. I did not know anyone in any of my journalism classes and felt out of place. But when I walk down the dark steps to the basement of the Texan, I know I am always welcomed and I know I belong to the Texan family.