The Daily Texan wins TAPME’s Newspaper of the Year award


WACO — The Daily Texan won “Newspaper of the Year” in the college and university daily category at the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors meeting this weekend.

TAPME awards recognize “outstanding journalism as practiced by the state’s daily newspapers.”

On Saturday, the Texan also received regional recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists, which gave top honors to the newspaper’s coverage of the one-year anniversary of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion.

Former senior reporter Madlin Mekelburg and former Life&Arts editor Hannah Smothers, who wrote the anniversary package together, won best feature writing in the large college category.

Judges complimented the package’s wide variety of sources and the level of detail in the reporting. In the week before the anniversary, Texan reporters and photographers spent three consecutive days in West, interviewing families in the frames of their newly constructed homes and exploring the properties surrounding the former plant.

To read Mekelburg’s coverage of West’s rebuilding efforts, click here. To read Smothers’ story about West High School’s annual prom, held despite the fact that a new school has not been constructed, click here.