T-Squared: David Pasztor is named senior editor and writing coach

David Pasztor, right, speaks with Johnathan Silver at The Texas Tribune office in 2015. (John Jordan/The Texas Tribune, John Jordan/The Texas Tribune)

When the terrible news from Uvalde emerged on May 24, I felt especially grateful for the wisdom and perspective of David Pasztor.

His curiosity, intelligence and high standards have been reflected in all the stories that have passed through his hands: Alexa Ura’s articles on the first victim burial and on the wife and husband who died during and after the shooting; Eleanor Klibanoff’s perceptive analysis of the far right’s takeover of Republican gun politics in Texas; and today’s story by Jolie McCullough and James Barragán on proven policy responses to mass shootings and why Texas hasn’t enacted them.

David is not only our most experienced story editor, but also a terrific sounding board and mentor to numerous journalists. That’s why I’m very happy to announce today that he has agreed to return to the staff full time in a new role as senior editor and writing coach.

As senior editor, David will oversee the reporting, writing and production of compelling narratives — evocative, textured, memorable stories centered around a person or a place.

Rich, original storytelling has long been a part of the Tribune’s identity. Working with senior managing editor Ayan Mittra, managing editor for news and politics Matthew Watkins and managing editor for visual journalism Darla Cameron, David will help to revive this tradition. As writing coach, he will offer tips and suggestions to all of our writers. He’ll also work with director of editorial recruitment, training and career development Andy Alford on workshops and other training on the craft of storytelling. David will also represent us in our new partnership with Votebeat.

Over three decades, David worked for the Kansas City Star; the late, great Dallas Times Herald; New Times, a publisher of alt-weeklies; the Austin American-Statesman; and the Texas Observer. David initially retired in 2008 but was drawn back into journalism in 2014, when he joined the Tribune as a night news editor and projects editor. He retired for a second time in 2016, but was lured back in 2019 as a part-time story editor. I’m thrilled that he has deferred retirement, for now, to help nurture, inspire and coach the next generation of journalists.

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