Old Student Press Editor: ‘Spend Your College Years in a Nearly Windowless Basement’

In a recent published pitch aimed at potential student recruits, a former managing editor of The Daily Texan at the University of Texas at Austin sold the paper’s awesomeness– in part by pointing out the lack of natural light in the newsroom.

According to Aleksander Chan, “The fluorescent lights are unnerving and unflattering. … And because so few slivers of the sun can sneak their way into the linoleum-floored space, which has only three windows to its name, you lose all sense of time.”

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In all seriousness, Chan, currently editor-in-chief of the local news site Austinist, makes an impassioned, inspiring plea that could apply to almost all student press endeavors.

A portion of his pitch:

“In my mind, the Texan is the university’s greatest learning lab, a place where you learn to overcome a barrage of failures, setbacks and mortal blows. The Texan is the only place on campus where the power will go out 10 minutes before deadline. Where you’ll have to start completely from scratch at 2 a.m. because you’ll have clicked the wrong link and sent your work into digital oblivion. Where a source won’t ever call you back and where someone will call you a liar and where someone will tell you your work is terrible. I know these are not necessarily experiences that are exclusive to the Texan. But I wouldn’t have wanted to experience them in any other place. Because like the most significant relationships you can have, the Texan has proved itself to be a true friend, the kind of friend that challenged me, the kind of friend that inspired me to do better.”

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