The Daily Texan is a student run newspaper at the University of Texas at Austin that covers events occurring throughout the school, state of Texas, and country.
Texan is a student run newspaper at the University of Texas at Austin that
covers events occurring throughout the school, state of Texas, and country.
Initially, the Daily Texan focused on
presenting news that pleased its readers rather
than take a stance on events. The first editor, Clinton Brown stated, “The Texan
will contain lots of news and very little expression of opinion” 
The newspaper did not have the freedom to take true stances on issues until the
Supreme Court deemed the press freedom of censorship.
As the newspaper progressed and covered more stories such as civil-rights
marches, McCarthyism, and anti-war protests, the Daily Texan developed a voice with a more liberal stance on issues.
In the words of Ralph Yarborough, the Daily
Texan was the “only free college paper in Texas”. With liberally minded writers and editors
such as Ronnie Dugger, Robb Burlage, and Kay Votemann, The Daily Texan became the platform that gave a voice to elements of
the civil rights movements such as the protests and organizing that exposed the
racial segregation at UT as well as across the nation.
By the late 1950s and early 1960s, when
the Civil Rights movements gained momentum, The Daily Texan had been around for over half a century. The Daily Texan had already established a
large readership and was known as the periodical of free voices exposing
liberal viewpoints. The Daily Texan
advocated for the civil rights movement by informing students of sit ins and
protests occurring on campus. In 1957, Barbara Smith Conrad, a black female
student was told she could not play a lead role in a school play alongside a
white male lead. The Daily Texan covered
the segregation of the theater program at the school. According to The Daily Texan, in December of 1960, students
would lead protests in order to fight the segregation. One protest included
students going to buy a ticket at the ticket booth stating, “I would like to buy a ticket if everybody is
being admitted,”  As the Daily Texan
published these occurrences, efforts to ingtegrate the university became more
well known not only throughout the university, but also across the country.
When students returned to school after winter break, they received a message of
approval from first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, “I am personally grateful to the Texas students for making
the effort to bring about the end of this kind of segregation.” Ultimately,
the theater department at the University of Texas integrated its theater and
allowed all students of any color to buy tickets to see school plays.
The Daily Texan attained eloquent writers with democratic and liberal
learning views towards its editorial staff. Ronnie Dugger. A celebrity on
campus, editor of the Daily Texan and
Texas Observer, and co-founder of The
Alliance of Democracy devoted his time to uncovering how certain events were
portrayed in the media. He lost supporters and part of his “fan club” when he
began to cover the case of a black teenager killed in East Texas by a white
killer. In his research, he questioned the ruling of the white killer as not
guilty by an all white jury. The commitment to exposing unrighteous acts
towards African American students by Ronnie Dugger exemplified the goal of the Daily Texan from the early 1950s to the
Texan had the ability to bring a spotlight to many occurrences at the
University of Texas. The Daily Texan
also inspired students at the University to pursue their own movements, for
when The Daily Texan discussed
students organizing protests and movements, students became inspired and
confident that they could organize for change as well. For example, Robb Bularge,
a student at the University of Texas was influenced by the Texan and soon
became a leader at the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and writer for
the Daily Texan. He used these
platforms to voice his liberal opinions on many causes, “shaped by the Southern
realities of Jim Crow and economic oligarchy”.
Texan not only covered stories, but played a role in the organizing of
direct action throughout the Civil Rights movement at the University of Texas.
With its cast of influential, liberal writers, they raised awareness about sit-ins and protests, inspiring students to
take action to integrate at the university.