From coverage of February’s winter storm to Black Lives Matter protests in Texas, The Shorthorn continues to serve the UTA and Arlington communities.
But, what is The Shorthorn newsroom like? What can students gain from being part of this organization? Here’s what a couple of Shorthorn alumni had to share:
Tawnell Hobbs, senior special writer at The Wall Street Journal, gave a glimpse into her experience at The Shorthorn, detailing the events she covered while on staff.
“[The Shorthorn] was where I got my first article published,” Hobbs said. “I worked with John Dycus, and John was just, John was amazing.”
John Dycus served as Shorthorn adviser and associate director of Student Publications for nearly three decades. He still trains students from time to time.
When describing her earlier pieces and how wordy they were, Hobbs said Dycus taught her how to write tightly.
“The Shorthorn, it was just a great experience. It was really my first dip into the newsroom,” Hobbs said.
Since then, Hobbs has written for publications like The Dallas Morning News and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Daniel Carde, a freelance photojournalist currently based in Lebanon, described his experience at The Shorthorn as phenomenal.
“You get all the hands-on experience, make a lot of really great friends,” he said. “You get out there. You learn your craft. You network.”
Carde attributes his success to his experiences at The Shorthorn. He got to meet people like Tom Fox, a senior visual journalist at The Dallas Morning News, and Tom Pennington, a photographer for Getty Images — two photojournalists Carde looks up to.
“You meet these amazing people who come over and spend time with you,” Carde said.
While at The Shorthorn, Carde was able to network, learn from mistakes and grow. He also had the chance to intern with The Dallas Morning News and later landed a contract with Getty Images because of the networking he did at The Shorthorn.
“It gets you the experience,” he said. “So that way when you get those networks going, from what you get there, you can apply it better.”
While at The Shorthorn, Carde self-funded a personal excursion to Iraq. There, he documented conflict through photos and words. His piece, “From the front line,” immerses readers with photographs from his travels.
From business meetings to the WNBA, Carde covered a little bit of everything.
“[There was] this Black woman, and she was doing this march to Washington to get Juneteenth turned into a national holiday,” he said. “And I got to walk with her for like two miles.”
“[The Shorthorn] really puts you at the front of history.”
Hobbs said she’ll sometimes go back to look at the stories she wrote while in college, like when poet Maya Angelou spoke at a UTA commencement ceremony. The story, “Finding her voice,” can still be viewed online.
She also had a chance to interview Ben Bradlee, former Washington Post editor, and completed a lot of general assignments where she got to write about a little of everything.
“And I'm like, yo, we didn't do too bad,” she said.
Carde encourages students interested in working for The Shorthorn to do so even if they don’t want to have a career in journalism. The Shorthorn provides opportunities in marketing, advertising, social media management and photo and design.
Hobbs also encourages students to go for it.
“I do believe that, as far as your growth goes, it really does help starting out at your college newspaper,” she said. “The Shorthorn is just great. They took journalism very seriously. It wasn't a place where you went to go play.”
Hobbs said that being at The Shorthorn is not sitting in class and learning to write, it’s actually getting out there in ‘reporter mode,’ and getting your feet wet.
“My foundation came from that experience,” she said. “I learned the importance of accuracy. I learned how to write tighter. I got out of my shell because it forced me to go and interview people on campus and to talk to people.”