For any interested undergraduate or graduate students, The Battalion is hiring reporters as well as photographers, video and podcast producers, page designers, graphic artists and audience engagement specialists. The following desks are hiring reporters: News, Life & Arts, Sports, Opinion and Arts Criticism. No prior experience is required, and all new hires will be trained to professional journalism standards.
Applications can be found at tx.ag/battapp and can be emailed to [email protected] or dropped off in person in MSC L400.
Despite recent trials and a less-than-certain future, former writers and editors emphasize the journalism experience The Battalion provides as an unparalleled opportunity for growth.
The Battalion, or The Batt as devoted readers may refer to it, has been the independent student newspaper of Texas A&M since 1893. The publication reports on matters concerning the university and the surrounding area and provides a platform for student expression. Available both online and in print, The Battalion has expanded to releasing weekly podcasts and quarterly Maroon Life magazines, giving students the opportunity to learn valuable skills in various forms of media.
These skills can be used regardless of job preference, journalism senior and former Life & Arts editor Shelby McVey said.
“I’m a journalism major, and I don’t want to be a journalist,” McVey said. “It gives you so many skills like time management, how to meet a deadline, how to know what a good photo is and how to talk to people and form connections with the people you’re interviewing.”
When she first came to A&M, McVey said she didn’t know The Battalion existed, but learned about the publication through an unlikely interaction with someone covering a Parker McCollum concert.
“There was a girl writing there, and she told me what she was there to do,” McVey said. “She was like, ‘I’m the Life & Arts editor for The Battalion at Texas A&M,’ and I was like, ‘I wanna be you. Your job is my dream job.’”
After the two followed each other on Instagram, McVey said she messaged her for help in the application process, dropped the application in the newsroom and the rest is history.
“First, I was a writer; I loved it. I really grew into myself during that time. My next position was obviously Life & Arts editor, and I did that for two semesters,” McVey said. “Then, the summer of 2020, I was editor-in-chief, and that was a wild ride. I loved it, but at the same time, it was obviously challenging. After that, I was the audience engagement editor and controlled social media. I’ve done anything and everything at The Battalion.”
Her biggest takeaway from her time at The Batt, McVey said, is that she could do anything she set her mind to.
“I know that’s going to sound really cheesy, but I’ve always wanted to write about country music,” McVey said. “I’ve made so many connections in that industry, and I have so many people’s phone numbers because of my time with The Battalion. If you’re scared to do something that you want to do, literally just spit out the idea to someone. Don’t feel like you have to do something someone else’s way or that you have to conform.”
General manager of Student Media and staff adviser for The Battalion Douglas Pils, Class of 1992, said he first heard about The Batt during his time as a student at A&M, due to its renown around campus.
“When I became a journalism major, everyone in journalism worked for The Batt,” Pils said. “There were other outlets to work for, but The Batt was always considered a prestigious thing.”
When he started, Pils said he was a sports writer, covering the men’s basketball team when it got a new head coach, Kermit Davis.
“I was assistant sports editor, and I had to deal with national news media because Davis got involved in some NCAA violations,” Pils said. “It was a big story, so dealing with national news media just became the thing to do, but it was good experience.”
From his time at The Batt, Pils said he learned how to do most everything in journalism and how to do it right.
“You’re a student journalist at that point, so obviously there are a lot of things you don’t know,” Pils said. “Getting feedback on what works and what doesn’t was always important. I’m still friends with a lot of the great people I worked with at The Batt, so you develop some close friendships that really last a lifetime.”
Journalism senior and former editor-in-chief Brady Stone said he was prompted to join The Batt after receiving a mass email sent out to students looking for page designers.
“I got that position, and after a little while, I became assistant news editor and then head page designer, and I never really let go of that position because up to the time I was editor-in-chief, I was still designing covers and pages and I kind of did that throughout,” Stone said. “I’ve written for every desk, and I guess the only thing I didn’t do was make videos. We even started a podcast, ‘The Batt Signal.’”
As a working journalist, Stone said he owes everything he does now to working at The Batt.
“I’ve gotten a lot of opportunities to freelance, and now my job at the Texas Tribune,” Stone said. “The Battalion has not only given me connections and opportunities, but it gave me a platform and taught me everything I know about journalism. I’m a journalism major, and I owe a lot to my professors, but it kind of feels like I majored in The Battalion.”
Students should apply to work at The Batt because there’s no other campus platform like it, Stone said.
“You don’t really get thrown into the fire, or you do, but you’re not left there to burn,” Stone said. “It’s a publication run by 20-something-year-olds, but it’s taken as seriously as any other publication. It’s a hands-on experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else on campus.”
Lauren Discher is an English senior and audience engagement editor for The Battalion.
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