[UTA Magazine]


Work force: Star-Telegram & Dallas Morning News
The names behind the news

UTA graduates keep making headlines.

And bylines. And taking pictures, editing copy, designing pages and Web sites and selling ads for The Dallas Morning News and the Star-Telegram.

The two newspapers, among the largest in the state, employ more than 80 UTA alumni between them, from entry-level to top management.

Kathleen Vincent, design editor at The Dallas Morning News, earned a bachelor's degree in graphic communication from UTA in 1975. The department she oversees includes numerous recent UTA graduates.

"I've always found that because of the design of The Shorthorn, the design people were well-qualified and pretty competent," Vincent said. Former Student Publications Director Dorothy Estes was very much an advocate. "She'd call and say, ‘I've got one for you.' Lloyd [Goodman, the current director] is starting to do that, too."

Though she never worked at The Shorthorn, the University's award-winning student newspaper, Vincent said she did wind up at the News because of connections at UTA. Thirty years later, nothing's changed.

"We've had a good pool of students coming out of UTA who have met the competitive edge that they need to come here and work," she said. "The News looks at young talent and feels like it's valuable."

That goes for the editorial side as well. Matt Stiles ('03 BA) helped cover the saga of Baylor University basketball player Patrick Dennehy, and 1999 graduate Reese Dunklin's article about an allegedly abusive Catholic priest appeared on the front page of a recent Sunday edition.

The Star-Telegram is making use of its young UTA talent, too.

Michael Currie, who worked at The Shorthorn just a few years ago, is a page designer in the paper's sports department. One of his recent projects included solo duty on the 88-page football preview section. The Sunday section front is also his work, as are most special sections.

"The Shorthorn was a tremendous resource at UTA," he said. "When I transitioned straight out of college to the S-T, I really didn't miss a beat in the newsroom. There wasn't any workplace shock."

As with Vincent and the News, Currie said it helped to not have to relocate to find a job. UTA's nearness to both papers keeps the pipeline open.

"Proximity is one of the primary reasons I'm here," he said. "I grew up in the area and have friends here, so the S-T was more attractive when choosing a newspaper. The work is a blast; the environment is fun. Plus, the editors give me a lot of freedom, which has helped me progress in visual journalism."

Once past the design desk, more Morning News photographers and Web site personnel attended UTA than any other university. The same is true in advertising and editorial at the Star-Telegram.

"Part of this hiring tendency involves proximity, and part of it is familiarity. But mostly it's about confidence in their skills," said O.K. Carter, columnist and editorial director at the Star-Telegram. "In particular, we've discovered that Shorthorn veterans have an ability to pick up beats quickly, to learn the particulars of the S-T's technology and research assets and to be productive reporters and editors."

If the talent is there, one need not major in journalism at UTA to work for one of the papers. Vincent didn't. Neither do many of the Star-Telegram's advertising and marketing staff—they're often public relations, marketing or broadcasting graduates.

"They know the basics, have an ability to communicate with clients, can crunch numbers, use a computer and also think visually," Carter said. "All critical functions."

– DW


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