T-Squared: Pu Ying Huang is The Texas Tribune’s next photo editor

Pu Ying Huang while on assignment in Ccuta, Colombia. (Dylan Baddour, Dylan Baddour)

Pu Ying Huang, a gifted visual storyteller who has created a powerful portfolio of work in Texas and Latin America, will be The Texas Tribune’s next photo editor.

Pu Ying Huang. Credit: Dylan Baddour

Pu is no stranger to the Tribune, having chronicled Hurricane Harvey’s catastrophic flooding in Houston for us in 2017. Soon after, Pu moved to Bogotá, Colombia, where she honed her Spanish and created a moving body of work on the plight of migrants who have fled the decadelong economic and political crisis in Venezuela. During the tumultuous year of 2020, Pu photographed an encampment of asylum-seekers in Matamoros, Mexico, and protests in Houston that followed the murder of George Floyd. Her work has appeared in many outlets, including Reuters, Al Jazeera English, VICE, ProPublica, NBC News and NPR.

Pu has been unafraid to document unrest and turmoil, while also grappling seriously with the ethical issues that confront journalists who cover trauma (and, at times, experience it). She knows that empathy, not merely consent, is needed to tell true stories about people who are suffering, and that coverage of hardship should affirm the dignity and humanity of those experiencing it.

Photojournalism has become increasingly important to the Tribune as we seek to engage audiences in ways that transcend text. We are deeply grateful to Miguel Gutierrez Jr., our inaugural photo editor, for setting a high standard and to Eddie Gaspar and John Jordan for keeping the team running after Miguel left us to move to Sacramento, California, where he is now the photo editor at CalMatters.

Working with Eddie and John, Pu will focus the team’s energies around impactful, original photojournalism. She will help us recenter our coverage around the lives of ordinary Texans and how they experience the consequences of decisions that are made (or that fail to be made) in the halls of power in Austin. She will work with our product team to enhance our presentation of photography and with our audience team to improve its distribution and reach. She will foster a network of freelance contributors, cultivating photographers who can tell the stories of their own communities. She will also go out on assignment to shoot major projects.

Transcending boundaries has been a big part of Pu’s life. Born in Guangzhou, China, Pu moved to Houston at age 2 with her family and is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin. At the University of Texas at Austin, Pu majored in anthropology with minors in communication and Chinese. She rose to become managing editor at The Daily Texan, overseeing the budget and editing stories for both the print and digital editions. She is a member of the National Press Photographers Association and participated in the prestigious Eddie Adams Workshop in 2020.

We are fortunate that Pu is bringing her vision to the Tribune. She starts Feb. 14.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribunes journalism. Find a complete list of them here.