There has never been another semester like fall 2020 for The Daily Texan.
For the first time in its 120-year history, the staff had to create a print paper virtually. We temporarily stopped printing daily and shortened the iconic broadsheet to a tabloid. There were so many more challenges caused by the coronavirus than could possibly fit in a single article.
Still, we never — not once — missed a single deadline. We had our most successful recruitment season in recent history. On all platforms, we fought to hold the University accountable and inform the UT community when the stakes were higher than ever, and we built a paper virtually twice a week with staffers from five different time zones.
Whether people look back at the work from the Texan in the next few days or decades from now, I hope they look beyond the stories and multimedia and see the resiliency of the staff of more than 230 hardworking, dedicated student journalists.
Despite working remotely, reporters produced hard-hitting new stories, in-depth features and coverage of sports games under the unique circumstances, while columnists advocated for the University to make changes to help the student body in a global pandemic.
Social media staffers and newsletter writers delivered the news to people when we were more spread apart than ever. Photographers, videographers, audio producers and comics illustrators brought life and color to the stories of the campus, and designers and copy editors made sure our pages shined with beautiful art and clean copy.
Emily H, Emily C, Myah, Ariana, Sami, Neelam, Areeba, Hal, Maia, Presley, Jackson, Harper, Barb, Sierra, Jimena, Lawson and so many more editors worked so hard to hold this paper together and provide a space for dozens of journalists to grow and learn. And the Texan’s talented management team — Trinady, Jason, Michael and Angelica — rose above and beyond to lead the paper through these unprecedented and unusual circumstances.
While this semester was certainly not without its many difficulties or blunders, I could not be prouder of a group of people for persisting through everything they faced and producing some incredible journalism. I’ve learned this year to never be sure of anything, but I do know one thing for certain: The future of student journalism at The University of Texas at Austin is stronger than ever.