Management response to Demands for Reforms in The Daily Texan Newsroom

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Photo Credit: Zoe Fu | Daily Texan Staff

From The Daily Texan’s fall and summer 2020 management team:

Earlier this afternoon, The Daily Texan’s Diversity and Inclusion Board released a statement calling for the Texan and its parent organization, Texas Student Media, to recognize the harm it has done to Black, Indigenous and People of Color and commit to supporting them through a series of action items. 

Their requests include establishing the D+I Board as a permanent fixture of the paper, creating funds to finance memberships in minority journalism organizations and requiring staff participation in newsroomwide demographics surveys. We unconditionally support the D+I Board and all of these efforts to make The Daily Texan’s newsroom and coverage more diverse and inclusive.

We are encouraged by the fact that Texas Student Media, which oversees all student media entities at UT-Austin, has already agreed to work to achieve these requests. However, we also know that simply saying we’ll make commitments and committees is not enough to solve the deeply rooted systemic problems at the Texan and in our coverage.

As the current and incoming managers of UT-Austin’s only daily student paper, we know the Texan has made countless egregious errors — both internally and externally — throughout its 120-year history. There are absolutely no excuses for the way we and the paper as a whole have misrepresented and harmed UT’s communities and The Daily Texan’s staffers, and we truly apologize for each and every mistake we’ve made. The recent establishment of the D+I Board is a sign of progress, but it’s clear the responsibility to solve the Texan’s problems should not rest entirely on a few people of color.

After deeply hurting many students, staff and faculty, we take full responsibility for all the hurt we have caused, and we plan to do so in the future as well. The management team is dedicated to immediately changing our actions and behavior in order to make the Texan a more inclusive place for everyone at the University. In addition to tirelessly pushing TSM to make the changes called for in the Board’s letter, the Texan, for the first time, will publish the results of its demographic survey in the fall, significantly expand the Diversity & Inclusion Board to include more voices from outside the paper, and take many more actions to improve the culture at our paper and make progress on these systemic issues over the course of the semester. 

There is much more to be done, but we are absolutely committed to making these changes and supporting the D+I Board as much as we can. 

Signatories:

Megan Menchaca, Fall 2020 managing editor

Sami Sparber, Summer 2020 managing editor

Emily Caldwell, 2020-2021 editor-in-chief

Brittany Miller, Summer 2020 associate managing editor

Marcus Krum, Summer 2020 associate managing editor