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

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

The Daily Texan will stand for empathy, diligence, fairness. Always.

Lorianne Willett
Editor-in-chief candidate McKenzie Henningsen in the UT Tower on Tuesday.

Editor’s note: McKenzie Henningsen is a candidate to be the next Daily Texan editor-in-chief. For this column, candidates were asked to present their platform and vision for the Texan. This piece ran alongside another by her opposing candidate, Mihir Gokhale. Voting begins Feb. 26 and runs through Feb. 27 at 5 p.m., be sure to cast your ballot at to weigh in on who should be the next editor-in-chief.  

As the official newspaper for the University of Texas, The Daily Texan has one primary function: to keep our readers informed. But I believe our job is to be more than just a news source. Rather, the Texan’s purpose is to keep the UT community connected and engaged with the University, with Austin and with one another. 

Sparking conversations — that’s where journalism’s true power lies. That’s also why the opinion department is so important. The columns and editorials we produce prompt necessary discourse. Overseen by the editor-in-chief, the opinion department exists to promote progress on campus and call out abuse of power. Opinion columnists and members of the editorial board interpret news, give a voice to diverse student perspectives and hold institutions accountable. 

If utilized thoughtfully, the Texan’s platform has the ability to be a force and lead positive change on campus. In order to foster this culture of accountability and advocacy, The Daily Texan must prioritize empathy, diligence and fairness every step of the way. 

Now more than ever, empathy plays a crucial role in successful journalism. As a University, we are grappling with new state legislation, hate crimes and questions about students’ mental health. The issues we face require attention and sensitivity, so we must make clear and concrete steps toward this type of coverage.

If elected as editor-in-chief, I will work alongside our Advocacy and Belonging board to provide workshops that focus on empathy-driven reporting techniques and the human impact of our coverage. Giving columnists the tools to source responsibly and to be intentional about how they approach a topic will allow the department to more effectively use our platform and drive change on campus.

Every student journalist has an obligation to maintain journalistic standards and follow ethical guidelines. Diligence and fairness uphold the integrity of our work, as these principles are foundational to ethical reporting and maintaining trust with our readers. 

Like any other newsroom, the Texan follows a strict set of rules and standards, but there is still progress to be made in our editorial process. To ensure our coverage is accurate, newsworthy and balanced, I will implement a more thorough training process for the editorial board that emphasizes journalistic standards. From investigating and uncovering stories to actively seeking out underrepresented viewpoints, we will pursue the truth relentlessly.

Accountability is a two way street. In order for us to continue holding UT accountable, we must first hold ourselves responsible. Fostering open communication within the newsroom, regularly giving and receiving feedback and striving to incorporate multiple perspectives on matters are all proactive steps toward fair coverage. Additionally, maintaining transparency in our editorial and decision-making processes will uphold our commitment to fairness.

Diligence, fairness and empathy are not separate ideals but interconnected values that must guide our coverage and actions. As editor-in-chief of The Daily Texan, I will ensure our staff pursue fairness diligently, treat others fairly and always prioritize empathy in our coverage of the human stories behind our headlines. 

This newspaper does important, necessary work, and I believe I can contribute as the next editor-in-chief. The effort I’ve put into The Daily Texan so far, in both the copy and opinion departments, show the type of leader I intend to be — one who considers the details and always looks to the people behind the work. 

Henningsen is an English and advertising junior from Austin.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
McKenzie Henningsen, Associate Opinion Editor & Associate Copy Desk Chief
McKenzie Henningsen is a junior English and advertising double major from Austin, Texas. She currently serves as Associate Opinion editor and Associate Copy Desk Chief.
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.