This just in: Texas Student Media has a new director. Gary Borders, publisher of the Hill Country News in Cedar Park, will be taking over from interim TSM director Jennifer Hammat on June 20. Gary, a native of Longview who got his masters degree in journalism at UT, brings extensive experience in newspaper and online journalism to a key post at TSM during a time of great transition and opportunity for the organization. Read more about Gary and his vision for student media at UT when the Texan resumes publication next week!
Interested in new media journalism? Like reading dailytexanonline.com? The Daily Texan is looking for current UT students to work on our newly redesigned website this summer.
With the new site and switch to two days of print publication, we've got a lot of online opportunities. Working for dailyexanonline.com is a great way to get your foot in the door at one of Texas' oldest college newspapers, bulk up your resume and earn some money in the process.
A basic knowledge or background in online content distribution is encouraged, but not necessary. Some duties include: uploading new and old articles, managing our social media feeds and watching the news wire. Ideally, we'd also love for eager staffers to stay on into the fall to further help continue to grow the Texan, but that is not a requirement.
If interested, please email your resume and a brief cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications should be submitted by June 1st.
We were wondering how to come up with a live, staff photo for the front page of today's paper. No one was planning on the "dom" coming from inside the Texan!
But there it is on Page One, documenting the evacuation of the Hearst building around 6:30 last night. This debacle was the result of a poorly planned building renovation project that had been plaguing the Texan staff for several days. Fumes from the product used to seal the floor of the former press room were powerful and pervasive throughout the building, but were not toxic.
Of course, that wasn't determined until after the police, fire personnel and an environmental safety crew all responded to the HSM building. Everyone was evacuated and the Texan staff relocated to a journalism lab in the CMA, thanks to the kindness of Dean Hart. However, that building was soon evacuated because of a pulled fire alarm. So everyone wound up back out in the plaza as the minutes ticked down toward deadline.
Ultimately, another attempt to use the J-school lab, once the CMA was reopened, proved too complicated. Fortunately, by then the air quality in the Texan office was determined to be suitable for human occupation, and the staff trundled back to its familiar surroundings around 8:30. Well behind schedule and slightly dizzy from the fumes, the Texan team got down to the business at hand and produced the fine final paper you see on the street today.
The flexibility and can-do attitude of the entire staff was most impressive. It would have been easy to say "screw it, this is ridiculous and it's the last paper of the semester" and just walk away. But the Texan people take what they do very seriously and they feel responsible to their readers and advertisers. So, under the calm and resourceful guidance of Managing Editor Claire Cardona, they did what they do and put the paper to bed.
I've been impressed by the work of entire staff this semester. Now, I can say I am proud. Only real professionals produce under the conditions we encountered last night.
The semester is just about over, but that isn't stopping the Texan staff from producing really cool stuff! Take a look at the "40 Acres and Beyond" feature on the front page of the paper and on the website. Great work that wasn't happening at the Texan before.
Also check out Ahsika Sanders' story about a fraternity hosting Hope Week. In the wake of the Roundup controversy, I think it's great that the Texan is covering positive aspects of Greek life.
And then there's Tamir Kalifa's outstanding photo package on a day in the life of Israeli soldiers. The strong stuff just keeps on coming! One more day!
I also want to take a moment to thank Jennifer Hammat, interim director of Texas Student Media, for all she's done since stepping in to straighten out a tough situation at TSM. It hasn't always been easy, and we continue to face many challenges, but Jennifer made it possible to do good work despite all that jazz. All the best as we all move forward.
While the previous Talking Texan post may lament the declining numbers of print newspaper circulation, the audience for online news is continuing to grow. In fact, 2011 marks the first year in which the online news audience has surpassed the print audience, according to Pew’s State of the News Media.
Surprisingly however, that trend is not echoed on college campuses where students are still more likely to pick up the print edition than search for news online.
But it seems that The Daily Texan, and its newly redesigned website, may be bucking that trend, or at least reaping the benefits of some timely breaking news. On Sunday night, the top two search terms on the site were “Afghanistan” and “bin Laden,” demonstrating that people visit dailytexanonline.com for international as well as local and campus news. The third most popular search term, was “fireworks” referencing the explosive showing on West Campus in celebration of the bin Laden news.
From when the new site went live late Saturday night through this writing, dailytexanonline.com has had over 30,000 unique page views.
One of the many things that the Texan has succeeded at in its coverage of a world-wide story is relating that story to the campus community. Tuesday’s front page story on the UT alumnus who helped lead the effort to bring down Osama bin Laden, accounts for half of the total unique page views the site has received.
The multimedia components of the bin Laden story have also garnered a lot of attention, with the video and slideshow of the local reaction getting almost 1,000 unique hits.
However, it’s not just the big breaking news events that are drawing traffic to the site. The third most popular story is about Steve Carell’s departure from “The Office”, which has also generated a number of comments.
The ability for readers to comment on stories, whether they be about news, entertainment, or sports, is a great feature for any website. And it is hopefully just one of many features that the newly redesigned dailytexanonline.com will have to allow interaction between the newspaper and its audience. Greater interaction, and great news coverage, is what will keep bringing people back to the site, and allow the numbers to keep on counting up.