Introducing the New Editor-in-Chief: Tori Falcon
2016 was some year, huh? Sorry, I know that throwback may still be a little sensitive, but the reason I bring up that horrid reminder is because, in spite of that ridiculous election, 2016 was the year I began working with The Dentonite. Sara Button, the owner and editor at that time, made a Twitter post offering rides to drive people to the polls in Denton on election day. My anxious, no-car-having ass, had to make the choice to get into a car with a stranger, or being the one missing vote who made Trump president. I got into that red Kia Soul and–if you haven't noticed–my vote didn't prevent Trump from becoming president, but I did create one of my most pivotal and important relationships that day.
Almost two years later, so much has changed. I have lived and learned several things, one being that the electoral college AIN'T SHIT, but also we at The Dentonite lived and learned to make several changes to the publication. In 2017, we gained three new vertical editors. Mateo Granados became our new editor and I was like...this guy? But this guy–seriously, if you knew the amount of stuff he does around Denton and the stuff he is always planning and organizing, you would be exhausted. I love this guy, and he and Anjelica–who are engaged–along with Sara have become family to me shaping a lot about who I am. I became Culture editor around this past November and now, as of Aug. 26, I will be interim editor of The Dentonite.
Y'all, I'm scared.
Other than the sappiness, this publication means a lot to me. I am a journalism major at UNT (graduating in the spring, woo!), and I love the type of freedom and innovation The Dentonite has allowed for a new, alternative and progressive type of journalism to take hold in Denton. Have we made mistakes? Hell yeah. Are we perfect? Hell no. Can we do better? Always. I'm excited to share with you all what you can expect to see as I step up as editor, and I wholeheartedly want to be held accountable for all that I do.
I'm ready to make this publication be unapologetic in the best way. Not unapologetic when we mess up, but unapologetic about our mission. So let me outline what that mission is.
We are founded by women and primarily ran by women. Being a voice for women and femmes, and anyone who experiences women's oppression is near and dear to this publication and we will cover that–unapologetically. A lot of our editorial board is a mix of mostly able-bodied, white women and Latinx women who could identify with at least partly being of Mexican nationality, and now one Black woman. We can and will do better in our coverage and recruitment of contributors which represent diverse populations. This doesn't mean just quoting more people of color, LGBTQ people, or people with disabilities, but making sure the way we frame our stories does justice for them. The way you frame a story can either hurt or help that community, and I will do my very best to ensure the way we frame stories does right by the marginalized communities–unapologetically. This is something that matters to me in my personal life and I could not live with myself if, by being given this power as an editor, I didn't implement it here, too. But I am not perfect–and as I said–call me (and all of us at The Dentonite) in when I'm not.
There are several things in the works for The Dentonite. Jade Jackson just became our first news editor, and we will now dedicate a whole section to quality and consistent news coverage by a woman who does the damn thing every breathing second of her life. But we need your help. If you support our mission and know how to write about news, please email me. Anjelica Fraga just accepted the upgrade from copyeditor to our intern/recruitment outreach manager person (it's a working title). She is someone who dedicates her life to social justice, and she will be the perfect person to ensure our contributors and interns are falling in line with our mission. We are in search of a new photo editor as well, and I know who we choose will be dope. We are beginning some diverse, innovative, and consistent coverage of local sports that isn't just the "hot takes" we have here and there. We are also getting a segment on Denton Radio where the concept is still in the works. We have an amazing, ever-growing staff, so please remember this when you call The Dentonite one person–because there's like fifty of us. I have full faith in all our staff to do what's right and do it well, and I will not waver on any of the things I have said.
I'm overly aware of how some people feel about The Dentonite. Whether it is through angry posts in Facebook groups, anonymous Twitter accounts, or just people talking to me face-to-face about their grievances, let me tell you now: I hear you. The point of media is definitely to hold the public accountable and for the people to hold us accountable as well. And trust me: I SOOOO LOOOOVE hearing about what we are doing wrong. I do. But I also promise that every choice and action we have ever made, and that I plan to make in the future, is purposeful and aligns with our mission.
I understand if our readers did not realize these values when they signed up with The Dentonite, and you are free to leave. I love Denton so much, I love this publication, and I will use every ounce of energy to making this publication successful monetarily (so we can pay people for their work) and rich in quality content that portrays integrity and compassion for the community and all the forms it takes.
Header image photographed by Estelle Dailey
Header image layout designed by Mateo Granados