Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

A statement from The Daily Texan’s managing editor

Jamie Hwang/The Daily Texan

The Daily Texan strives every day to uphold its mission of providing the community with truthful and factual information and accurately representing the views of our sources in each story we publish.

However, in some instances, the Texan has fallen short of these standards, and we are committed to being transparent about our internal investigations into violations of our ethics policies.

On Nov. 12, a general reporter in the Life&Arts department contacted their editor to report that they had fabricated quotes in a story titled “8 months into the pandemic, student employees reflect on how their jobs have changed.” Shortly afterward, the source also contacted the Texan management team to report that they did not provide the quotes attributed to them.

In accordance with the Texan’s policy against fabrication of any kind, the source was promptly removed from the article, and the reporter was removed from staff by the end of the day. Since then, editors at the Texan have spent the past few weeks reviewing all six articles published by the reporter to verify the 17 other sources, nearly all of whom are students, and the quotes attributed to them.

We did not find any other confirmed instances of fabricated quotes or sources. However, we found one article with multiple sources that could not be identified or contacted. We also found many instances where the reporter paraphrased the words of a source and passed their phrasing off as direct quotes, which is a violation of the Texan’s ethics policy in our handbook. 

After finishing the internal investigation, The Daily Texan has added a more detailed editor’s note to the article containing a fabricated quote, and the following article has been retracted because it included multiple sources the Texan could not verify: 

Sept. 14, 2020: Black student creatives fight for justice

In addition, the following articles originally contained paraphrased quotes and have been corrected with an editor’s note:

Oct. 5, 2020: Cultural organizations help form connections, provide safe spaces on campus

Oct. 19, 2020: UT students find fun, safe activities around Austin during pandemic

Oct. 22, 2020: UT-Austin student orgs work to diversify campus, recruit Black students

We are truly disappointed that this incident occurred, and I want to apologize on behalf of the Texan for this breach in ethical standards. During Zoom calls, edits on the phone and regular emails, staffers are constantly reminded by the editors and management team about the expectations that they are expected to uphold. This incident does not reflect the integrity of the more than 240 student journalists at the Texan who work to produce quality daily journalism, and we remain dedicated to sharing the truth with our readers.

Megan Menchaca

The Daily Texan Fall 2020 Managing Editor

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A statement from The Daily Texan’s managing editor