T-Squared: Allyson Waller is The Texas Tribune’s next newsletter writer

Allyson Waller. (John Jordan/The Texas Tribune, John Jordan/The Texas Tribune)

Allyson Waller, who has done a superb job as a general assignment reporter since she rejoined The Texas Tribune in June, will be our next newsletter writer, taking charge of our flagship email product, The Brief.

This is a crucial role at the Tribune, given that our 170,000 newsletter subscribers are among our most loyal and engaged readers. We expect that Allyson will bring a distinctive voice and sensibility to The Brief, filling it with narrative recaps of daily news, first-person analysis and one-on-one Q&As with policymakers. She’ll also work closely with data, product and design colleagues to refresh our premium newsletter, The Blast, and our RSS newsletters.

Out of dozens of applicants for this position, Allyson stood out for the thoughtfulness of her approach. “Today so many publications and businesses crave coveted spots in people’s inboxes to the point where I believe audiences can get overwhelmed and indifferent to the emails they receive, unless they know it will be something of value and substance,” she told us. “I believe that people crave newsletters authored by actual people who care about the public and want to help them understand the world.”

A 2020 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where she majored in journalism with a business minor and a certificate in public policy, Allyson has accomplished a great deal over the past few years. She completed internships at Houstonia Magazine, the Bryan-College Station Eagle, the Miami Herald and the Daily Dot. As a fall 2018 investigative fellow at the Tribune, she examined the shortage in subsidized child care and the consequences of Texas’ refusal to expand Medicaid. As a 2020-21 reporting fellow on the breaking news team at The New York Times, she filed scores of stories on an astonishing array of subjects.

“Allyson was a standout reporting fellow, a persistent go-getter who pitched great ideas and delivered graceful writing full of rich details,” says Patrick LaForge, who runs the Express team at the Times. “I’m not surprised she’s on the rise.”

Allyson returned to the Tribune in 2021, taking on contentious topics like the ban on sports participation by transgender students and efforts to remove books on sensitive topics from school libraries.

“I’ve been impressed with her organizational skills and thorough reporting; she brings great sensibility to her storytelling and a clear focus on writing journalism that serves its audience; and (here’s what I love the most) she sometimes understands my guidance even better than I do,” says Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera, our breaking news editor.

Disclosure: New York Times and University of Texas at Austin have been financial supporters 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 Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.