Reporting Texas
News and features from UT-Austin's School of Journalism
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Dec 11, 2023

The Enduring Spirit of Austin’s Underground Music Scene

Dim lighting illuminated the grunginess of The Parlor in Hyde Park on a recent Saturday, shedding slivers of light on a book release party for “A Curious Mix of People.” The scene was more akin to a high school reunion that united old friends and bandmates – which is exactly what authors Greg Beets and […]

Dec 07, 2023

Oh, Rats! Rodents on Campus Are UT’s Hidden Nightlife

 The sun has yet to rise. There is a stillness outside the G.B. Dealey Center for New Media, home to the University of Texas’ Moody College of Communication. The sidewalks are devoid of students — it’s far too early for them to begin their sleepy shuffle from dorm rooms to their 8 a.m. classes. The only sounds that disturb the silence are the occasional whoosh of a car speeding down Guadalupe Street and the piercing, steady clap ringing out ominously in the otherwise tranquil pre-dawn hours.
On this early morning, a university custodian walks toward the Dealey Center with arms outstretched. Despite the cover of darkness, his presence is clearly announced by the loud clapping of his hands as he approaches the building. 
The custodian claps to scatter the rodents that live in the south-facing courtyard of the communications building.

Dec 07, 2023

From Texas to the Peruvian Amazon, a UT Researcher Preserves a Dying Language

Nestled deep in the Amazon basin, a makeshift house sits alongside a rustic nut storage facility. Two of the occupants of this house in Peru’s remote Madre de Dios District might be the last chance of survival for the endangered language Iñapari. 
Meanwhile, over 3,000 miles away, a doctoral student is huddled over his laptop at the University of Texas at Austin. Barrett Hamp, a UT doctoral student in linguistics, has dedicated his research since 2019 to recording the indigenous language in Peru to prevent it from disappearing.  “Once a language is gone, it’s gone.  There’s no reviving it,” Hamp said.

Dec 06, 2023

In Visit to Austin, Ukrainian Politicians Advocate for U.S. Aid, Meet Refugees Living Here

A delegation of Ukrainian politicians visited Austin last week to urge Texas officials to support increased U.S. aid for Ukraine. 

Dec 05, 2023

Texas Christmas Tree Farmers Persevere Through Droughts to Keep Holiday Spirit Untruncated

Far in the countryside of Elgin, away from the congested city of Austin, is Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm, a 40-acre farm where families can choose or cut down their own Christmas tree. Large and small rows of Virginia pine trees cover the land Beth and Mike Walterscheidt call home. 
This family-friendly farm has been growing and selling trees for 30 years, but it hasn’t always been easy.
“What was grueling was the summer,” Beth Walterscheidt said. “It was so hot, and that was really hard for us and hard on our trees.”

Dec 01, 2023

Reporting Texas Newsletter – Dec. 1, 2023

Download the Dec. 1, 2023 edition of the Reporting Texas Newsletter

Dec 01, 2023

Texas politicians point to mental health as the cause of mass shootings — experts say more funding won’t help

When Jesse Woche heard about the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, the now 24-year-old felt galvanized to work in the gun violence prevention space full time. She had been interested in advocacy since she was 15, shifting between environmental conservation, abortion access and other causes that mattered to her. “(The shooting) just […]

Dec 01, 2023

Reporting Texas TV – Nov. 30, 2023

Journalism students at the University of Texas produced their sixth and final newscast of the Fall 2023 semester on Nov. 30. Student journalists reported this week on the 15th UT Diwali festival, the 27th Empty Bowl Project, the 30th Austin Studio Tour, the 48th Junior League of Austin “A Christmas Affair” holiday market, and the […]

Dec 01, 2023

The Austin Studio Tour Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary

AUSTIN, Texas – Hundreds of artists invited Austinites into their workshops and galleries to see their work during the annual Austin Studio Tour. Big Medium coordinates the tour and creates a virtual map of the city that shows participating artists. Organizers encourage residents to visit different galleries and workshops over three weekends in November. This […]

Dec 01, 2023

The Junior League of Austin Blasts Off the Holiday Season with A Christmas Affair 2023

AUSTIN, Texas – The 48th annual A Christmas Affair holiday market from Nov. 16-19 brought the spirit of giving to the Austin community. The four-day market is the Junior League of Austin’s (JLA) largest fundraiser benefiting three signature programs – Coats for Kids, Kids in Cool Shoes and Food in Tummies – and several nonprofit […]

Dec 01, 2023

Pottery Donations Keep Bowls from Going Empty this Holiday Season

AUSTIN, Texas – Local pottery studios donated more than 3,000 bowls to the Empty Bowl Project to help fight hunger in the community. The 27th year of the annual Empty Bowl Project took place Nov. 19 as a collaboration between the Central Texas Food Bank and Meals On Wheels to fund their kids programs. More […]

Dec 01, 2023

UT Students Celebrate Hindu Festival of Lights

AUSTIN, Texas – Vibrant lights, Bollywood dancers, and melodic songs charged the atmosphere in front of the UT Tower on Nov. 15 for UT’s 15th annual Diwali event. Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival that stems from a Hindu legend involving the hero Rama. The tradition is based on a major story in the Ramayana, […]

Nov 30, 2023

Texas Dominates Tech to Clinch a Trip to Big 12 Championship

AUSTIN, Texas – The Longhorns bid farewell to longtime rival Texas Tech with a 57-7 blowout during their last home game of the season. More than just a regular-season closer for Texas, this was a statement game as the Longhorns try to prove their case for a College Football Playoff spot.  The top four teams […]

Nov 26, 2023

Art From the Streets Takes a Creative Approach in Addressing Mental Distress 

This year’s show of works by homeless artists came as Art From the Streets achieved two milestones that signify new beginnings for the 32-year-old organization — settling into a permanent home that it moved into in 2021 and an expansion of its mental health programs. 

Nov 20, 2023

Reporting Texas TV – Nov. 16, 2023

Journalism students at the University of Texas produced their fifth newscast of the Fall 2023 semester on Nov. 16. Student journalists reported this week on a Nov. 7 ballot proposition approved by voters to provide property tax emptions to daycares, annual Austin festivals celebrating books and queso, a showcase of Black student performers, and the […]

Nov 20, 2023

The End of Cedar Ridge’s Football Season means the End of a Father Son Duo

ROUND ROCK, Texas —The buzzer sounded at Kelly Reeves Stadium, marking the end of the game on Friday, Nov. 3, and tears began to flow for Cedar Ridge head coach Sam Robinson. The end of this game meant he coached his son for the final time. His son, Baran Robinson, had been on the two […]

Nov 17, 2023

Reporting Texas Newsletter – Nov. 17, 2023

Download the Nov. 17, 2023 edition of the Reporting Texas Newsletter

Nov 17, 2023

Texas Voters Support Tax Exemption for Childcare Facilities

AUSTIN, Texas – Nearly two-thirds of Texans voted this month for Proposition 2, which exempts childcare facilities from paying property tax. Local governments must now decide if they will grant property tax relief. Proposition 2 states, “Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing a local option exemption from ad valorem taxation by a county or municipality of all or […]

Nov 17, 2023

A Cheesy Competition Fights Food Insecurity

AUSTIN, Texas – The Central Texas Food Bank’s 12th annual Quesoff festival on Sunday at the Mohawk music hall featured unusual treats such as pink glitter queso and queso donuts. “It’s my two favorite Austin things, waiting in line and eating queso,” said Ryan Clark, a returning attendee. Twenty-eight chefs from across Austin competed to […]

Nov 17, 2023

Texas Book Festival Offers Diverse Literature and Panelists

AUSTIN, Texas – This year’s Texas Book Festival boasted hundreds of authors and sessions in its 28th year of operation. The festival took place Nov. 11-12 along Congress Ave. and attracted an estimated 50,000 attendees of all ages. “It’s always important to promote literacy and literature, it’s what [the festival] believes in wholeheartedly, connecting books […]