Diversity & Inclusion co-director says goodbye, feels hopeful for future of sensitive newsrooms

Carolynn Solorio

Prior to accepting a position at The Daily Texan, I had no real experience inside a newsroom. What I did have, however, was the experience of a person who knew what it felt like to be misrepresented in the media, and underrepresented as a student at UT.

When I was first granted the opportunity to join the Diversity and Inclusion board last spring, I knew it would present me the chance to address some of the issues that kept the Texan from reaching every type of student at UT. What I didn’t know, though, was that I would gain my closest friends, the most genuine peers and a supremely rewarding work experience.

Firstly, I want to thank Sanika Nayak for offering me the invitation to join such a wonderful group of people. Your guidance has challenged me to dig deeper and seek solutions that best serve our student body. For that, I am eternally grateful. Also, to my co-directors Abhirupa and Rachael, you have my deepest respect and admiration. Working alongside you both this past year has made me a more genuine leader, a more attentive director and most importantly, a better person. Finally, I want to shout out to Sewa and Briana, my internal contributors, for pushing me this semester to improve our content and to focus on important issues within the newsroom. You both have made such an impact. Thank you!

This past semester especially has challenged the Texan to produce content covering issues that were particularly sensitive and challenging. Time and time again I was overwhelmed with gratitude for reporters who were committed to a thorough and inclusive production process, as well as a management team who was equally as dedicated to overseeing it. I feel proud of the environment we were able to create inside the newsroom, and the difficult conversations we were able to facilitate.

It wasn’t always easy — honestly, it seldom was — but good, inclusive journalism shouldn’t be easy. Inside the newsroom, I feel hopeful that the practices my peers and I put in place to ensure diverse coverage will be not only maintained, but improved in the future. I’m so inspired by the content I’ve been fortunate enough to help oversee in production, and I’m confident in the inclusive potential of the Texan in the future.

The Daily Texan is a special thing, and it should feel that way for every student who reads it. While there is always room for improvement, the impact on the readers is paramount to anything else. I can only hope that what I’ve done with this paper, and the amazingly brilliant people who make it happen, has elevated its impact for everyone who reads it.