Reporting Texas
News and features from UT-Austin's School of Journalism


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.

Little Amal: A 12-Foot-Tall Puppet Visits Austin with a Larger-Than-Life Message

Children’s faces lit up as they looked up to the 12-foot puppet made of cane and carbon fiber with long brown hair made of Tyvek tied with a red string. Phones were raised in the air to capture the sight as “Little Amal” visited Austin for the first time to call attention to the plight of refugees around the world. 
“She’s made larger than life so that people also can look up to refugees,” said a programming associate for The Walk Productions.

‘I Can’t Let You Down’: How Mexican Truckers Are Easing U.S. Driver Shortage While Helping Their Families Back Home

For Juan Martinez and his truck, a trip usually lasts from Monday to Saturday, starting in Mexico and going north into the United States before returning home. He is one of thousands of truck drivers from Mexico, taking jobs to haul freight across the border under a 1991 commercial trucking agreement between the United States and Mexico.
The opportunity of a higher salary is driving more Mexicans with a B1 visitor visa to a profession that is constantly struggling with a worker shortage.
But the industry still needs 78,000 drivers, “The price of everything we buy is going to go up,” said a manager for trucking company, “because it’s going to cost more to move it, because we have less drivers that want to move it.”

Congressman joins Austin protest for Iranian human rights

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett joined over 200 protesters outside the Texas Capitol in solidarity for Iranians and to raise awareness of the 22-year-old woman who died last month after being arrested for wearing her headscarf too loosely.
“I admire the courage of Iranians and Iranian-Americans,” Doggett, D-Austin, said after his speech on the south steps of Capitol. “It is vital to stand up for human rights and the horrors that women are facing.”
Though Doggett was appearing for the first time, it was the fourth consecutive week that Austinites have rallied at the Capitol after the death of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman who was arrested by Iran’s morality police for having her hair visible under her hijab. Amini’s death in custody on Sept. 16 triggered protests in Iran and around the world, creating viral videos of women defiantly cutting their hair and throwing their head coverings into fires. 

May 18, 2022

Responsibility for Ukrainian Refugees Shifts to Individual American Sponsors Like Austin Woman

In the absence of a more robust immigration system, American citizens are hosting refugees, assuming financial responsibility and assisting with the resettlement process.

May 05, 2022

Texas Family Among Many in the US, Western Europe Taking in Ukrainian Refugees

Diana Mykoliv woke up early on the morning of Feb. 24 for flight attendant training in the United Arab Emirates. Her hair clipped back and uniform pressed, she headed out her apartment door when she received a text from her mother.

“It’s happening, daughter.” The message in Ukrainian stopped her in her tracks.

“My heart just fell from my chest,” Mykoliv, a Ukrainian native, said. “The worst fears I could have ever imagined of the situation were just brought to light. I couldn’t believe it.”

The same morning at 5 a.m. in Kyiv, Mykoliv’s fiancé Oleksandr awoke to explosions of ballistic missiles. In a frenzy, he packed documents, money, some clothes and a Stephen King book, then headed to the train station to flee the city among the sound of alarms.

“I couldn’t sleep for three days,” Oleksandr said. “Air alarms sound every day, sometimes for hours and it just leaves me shaking.”

Mykoliv, 3,000 miles away from her home, felt hopeless as Russian forces marched into her country, uprooting and threatening the lives of her friends, family and fiancé. According to the BBC, President Biden and the policymakers in the European Union responded by issuing severe sanctions targeting four of Russia’s largest banks, its oil and gas industry, and Western exports (especially technology) to the country.

Nov 05, 2021

After Century of Publishing Amid Political Turmoil, Ecuadorian Newspaper Eyes Next 100 Years

At the entrance to one of the country’s largest newspapers, El Universo’s first printing press stands as a monument to victory in Ecuador’s struggle to hold onto a fragile democracy marked by a history of military dictatorships and censorship.

The newspaper’s history includes a government-ordered shutdown for a cartoon, editorial board members jailed, a forced front-page apology, violent demonstrations, a bombing of its building and even a presidential lawsuit seeking the imprisonment of its journalists.

Dec 16, 2020

Resurgence of Armenian Struggle Painful for UT Student

While Armenia’s modern struggle against the encroachment of others is grabbing headlines today across the globe, it can be said what is happening in Armenia is old news. As the first nation to establish Christianity as its national religion 18 centuries ago in 301 A.D., Armenians have accepted their biblical call to, “glory in their […]

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