I am so excited to begin my first (official) semester at Texas Woman’s as editor of The Lasso.
Though I’ve been working to get the paper ready for fall since May, I still cannot believe that it’s already time for our first issue – or that I’ve been in charge of producing it.
When I began working for The Lasso last fall, I knew I wanted to get experience writing and see what this field, which I had always been interested in, was about. I thought it would be a good learning opportunity and a chance to become more involved on campus.
What I didn’t anticipate was how much my experiences here at The Lasso would change me. I had no idea I would fall in love with journalism, and my vague notions of wanting to be a writer would be transformed into something tangible. I could not have known how much the act of reporting would help me gain the confidence to go places and meet people I never would have before, and how immensely I have enjoyed every one of those encounters, despite the butterflies.
I never dreamed I would be ushering this newspaper into its 105th year.
But because I have, somehow, been entrusted with this monumental task, I plan on going all in with The Lasso, which means we are undergoing some major restructuring to ensure we are delivering the best to students every day.
Firstly, I am excited to have a lot of new, enthusiastic faces in the Lasso newsroom who I am beyond honored to lead this semester. I know the writers, editors and visual artists that make up The Lasso team will show up for students every day and bring their very best to this paper, because they already have. The long days and late nights the staff poured into creating our first edition for fall is just one example of the dedication these talented students bring to the table every day.
As for the other changes we are implementing this semester, they are immense – and necessary.
We have heightened journalistic standards and shortened our turnaround time for articles so we can increase our focus on bringing students relevant, meaningful content.
We have already begun redesigning our website, increasing our presence on social media and on campus, and reducing the size of our monthly print editions to a smaller, more manageable layout. Our print issue also has a brand-new masthead and page design aimed at emphasizing our heightened focus on bringing the news to life through visuals.
The Lasso is launching classified and archives sections online, and we will begin reviving the special literary arts publication, The Daedalian, this semester.
Simply put, what all these changes mean is a better experience for our readers.
The Lasso has always been a newspaper of firsts. Lasso ’28 editor Caro Crawford Brown was the first to win a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting. Grace Robinson New (Lasso ’46 editor) was the first female television news reporter in Dallas. We are the first and oldest publication at TWU.
In the tradition of honoring those that came before me and the Pioneers that walk these halls today, I want The Lasso to be first in an era of lasts for newspapers. I want us to be first in the minds of students not to increase our circulation, but to increase our impact.
This semester and beyond, I hope The Lasso will be a voice for those who feel silenced, a dose of laughter to get you through a tough day and, when necessary, a light shining in the corners of corruption.
Words cannot convey how much being entrusted with the legacy of this century-old paper means to me except to say: I have found my home here at The Lasso and, this year, I hope you do, too.