Texas Student Media
Texas Student Media’s Best Work Of 2016
Student media isn’t easy. Videos take hours to edit. Stories take impeccable time management and organizational skills. Perfecting a spread takes keen vision. Disc jockeying takes personality and good taste.
But nevertheless, UT’s student media entities make it look easy. Day in and day out, the Daily Texan has a fresh paper with brand new stories ready for campus every single day. TSTV and KVRX have consistent programming. The Texas Travesty never fails to make us laugh. Burnt x has the perfect GIF for every moment. And the Cactus Yearbook is always ready by the time another semester has flown right by us.
Now that the school year is just a couple weeks shy of ending, here are some of our favorite accomplishments from this school year.
The Daily Texan
Our 116-year-old student newspaper has written an absurd amount of stories. They’ve faced the pressures of a rapidly changing industry and have proven time and time again that traditional journalism prevails. This is best reflected by its coverage of a racially-motivated assault against UT student Cody Young. This exposure streamlined a response from the University. UT President Gregory Fenves hired lawyers to re-evaluate disciplinary processes and change its policies on releasing student information about the punishment of students who have committed crimes. The article is their 10th all-time most read story online.
When students all over campus were scared, confused and mourning the tragedy of UT freshman Haruka Weiser’s death, the Daily Texan was among the first to be on the ground gathering information to best serve the student body during this unsettling time. Their staff quickly responded with this breaking news story—the first of its kind since the 1966 Tower Shootings. This article was its sixth all-time most read story online.
Daily Texan Opinion
When it took two elections and four Student Government Supreme Court justice resignations for us to finally crown our 2016-2017 Executive Alliance, the Texan Editorial Board spoke out against UT’s toxic campaign culture. They highlighted the prevalence of this issue throughout the years—making mention of instances where students have gone so far as to sue the state and the University. The board also rightfully points out the functional limitations of Student Government, historically spending a lot of time passing many resolutions written to express what it thinks UT should be, but not having enough power to enact its ideals.
The campus carry issue is a button-pusher for most University students and staff. The Daily Texan’s Josephine Maclean column outlines the way different universities across the state are trying to comply with Senate Bill 11. She draws attention to the comparative differences between UT and A&M, which additionally provides further insight into their distinctly different campus cultures. UT has vocally pushed back on any allowance of guns on campus, while A&M’s student body is split on the issue.
Burnt x is wrapping up its first official year as a publication under Texas Student Media. Intended as an idea to put a Buzzfeed spin on campus culture, burnt x also found its footing as an interactive space on social media for informal online banter and as a place to experiment with video and podcasting. Run by Internet-addicts, burnt x was among the first to notice a sign circulating on Twitter with the words “Texas Teas are your wingman.” The sign—referring to a popular beverage of a high alcohol content percentage—was located outside of popular West Campus hangout Cain and Abel’s. Burnt x flagged this as an unacceptable perpetuation of a national campus sexual assault problem and, consequently, broke the story in hopes of demonstrating the prevalence of this dominant mentality.
UT can be summarized in many words, but an indisputable one is “construction.” Cranes can be seen looming on the campus horizon. Construction zones are a pain, blocking normal routes to class. Cactus’ labor-intensive, eye-opening design spread revealed what the Forty Acres will look like once all projects are completed. Growth has not only been an important theme for UT, but for the Austin area in general, and this graphic depicts the progress of such construction, making it a timely and aesthetic approach to show campus in a unique historical and cartographical context.
Our TV station’s daily operations are impressive in their own right. TSTV is the only student-run, digitally broadcasting college TV station in the country. Staffers work directly with an experienced broadcast student advisor and learn valuable tools as aspiring creatives, such as camerawork, direction, production and screenwriting, among others. This year, the station has launched its first animated series called Balloon Loons. In addition to this, they have also upgraded all of their equipment to HD and have a new, up-to-date website.
We’ve never been more proud to claim a travesty as our own. The humor publication churns out six printed issues each year and its work has been recognized by the Austin Chronicle seven times as the “Best Local Publication.” They get mad props from comedians who float through Austin and spare an interview, like Demetri Martin and Hannibal Buress. Their greatest accomplishment of the year has been garnering national attention by the work of Travesty editors and UT Student Body President and Vice President Xavier Rotonofsky and Rohit Mandalapu. Their progress in office proved to be no joke, but they indulged the public with their humor nonetheless. They conducted hilarious interviews with former Democratic nominee Martin O’Malley and UT President Greg Fenves.
The campus radio station hasn’t let us down since its launch in 1988 and has kept its promise to play none of the hits all of the time. Their flawless 2016 schedule can’t be missed. Catch them on 91.7 FM from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. on weekdays and from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. on weekends. KVRX teams up with TSTV to produce “Local Live,” a live music show that airs at 10 p.m. on Sunday nights.
Help us keep the momentum going by supporting our student voices here. Our fundraiser ends Sunday, May 1.