Schmooze Paper

For one hundred years, wannabe journalists have cut their teeth at the Daily Texan, where the networking is top-notch. You can even learn how to write.

IF JOURNALISM IS A “ CONTACTSPORT—who you know counts as much as what you know—one of the best places to get in the game is the Daily Texan, the University of Texas at Austin’s student-run newspaper. In 1954, for example, Liz Carpenter (class of ‘42), a veteran reporter who would go on to become Lady Bird Johnson’s press secretary, called President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s press office on behalf of U.S. Senate intern Bill Moyers (‘56) and accompanied him to his first Washington, D.C., press conference. Later, after Moyers lost a job at New York’s Newsday, he connected with another Texan alumnus. Moyers and Harper’s editor Willie Morris (‘56) weren’t close friends when they were at UT together, but as a former Texan editor in a position to help a former Texan writer, Morris wound up assigning him a high-profile cover story (a piece later spun off into Moyers’ first book, Listening to America). In addition to great jobs, there are also great photo opportunities available to Texan exes. Take the time that political strategist Paul Begala (‘83) broke the ice with Walter Cronkite (who didn’t graduate from UT) at a White House dinner. “I said, ‘I used to work at the Texan too,’” recalls Begala. “Now I have a picture of Walter and me doing the ‘Hook ‘em, Horns’ sign.” Cronkite, in turn, insists nothing would derail a book signing faster than a young Texan alum asking for advice. “I’d grab him to my bosom,” he says. “I’d have to delay the rest of the signing to talk about what he did at the Texan, where he’s from, and what he’s doing now. It’s of great interest to me. The Texan comes as close to being my alma mater as anything could be.”

Later this month, the chance to press the flesh with Cronkite will be a big draw at a series of receptions and lectures in Austin in honor of the Texan’s hundredth birthday. And he won’t be the only celebrity in attendance. Along with Carpenter and Moyers, dozens of Texan alumni plan to be on hand, including syndicated gossip columnist Liz Smith (‘48), Texas Observer founding editor Ronnie Dugger (‘50), Time Jerusalem bureau chief Lisa Beyer (‘83), Dow Jones international president Karen Elliott House (‘70), and Mexican newspaper tycoon Alejandro Junco (‘69). Any

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...