Even though the news media and the public focus intently on presidential elections, midterms have a greater impact on state policies. But it is often difficult for news media organizations, especially scholastic and collegiate outlets, to have the necessary resources to cover a state as big and varied as Texas. How can a website in West Texas get fresh art of politicians from across the state? Who are experts on Texas politics?
Civics U Texas is a website dedicated to Texas politics and elections. It is launching today on 2022 News Engagement Day because research confirms that engagement with news is essential for civic literacy. Funded by the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin, Civics U features multimedia stories, graphics and photographs that are available to any news media outlet, especially scholastic and collegiate publications. Moody College students lead the way in creating content that is free of charge. But we want other student journalists — from high schools and other state colleges — to also contribute as we cover the state election together.
There is a complete lineup of the state midterm elections; a guide for first-time voters; a podcast that tells the story of 18-year-olds getting the right to vote; and a history of Texas politics that explains the state’s historic swing from blue to red.
Civics U doesn’t stop on News Engagement Day. In fact, it will be updated in the next week to provide more photographs and credits (all the live photos on the site were taken by Kara Hawley or Leila Saidane of the University of Texas at Austin). It will post an informal poll of college students surveyed about news engagement and voting, an up-to-date newsletter of political coverage written in and out of the state, and a guide to the 88th Texas Legislature, which begins in Jan. 10.
For more information, contact Kathleen McElroy at email@example.com.
University of Texas at Austin students contributing to Civics U:
Logan Dubel, reporter
Kerry Gleim, election aggregator
Teresa Gutierrez, reporter
Kara Hawley, photographer
Ashley Joo, podcaster
Sofia Vargas Karam, commentator
Lily Kane, newsletter reporter
Vrinda Pandey, web designer
Talia Potochny, illustrator
Leila Saidane, photographer