Jay Root Reporter

Jay Root is a native of Liberty. He never knew any reporters growing up, and he has never taken a journalism class in his life. But somehow he got hooked on the news business. It all started when Root walked into the offices of The Daily Texan, his college newspaper, during his last year at the University of Texas in 1987. He couldn't resist the draw: it was the biggest collection of misfits ever assembled. After graduating, he took a job at a Houston chemical company and soon realized it wasn't for him. Root applied for an unpaid internship at the Houston Post in 1990, and it turned into a full-time job that same year. He has been a reporter ever since. Root has covered natural disasters, live music and Texas politics — not necessarily in that order. He was Austin bureau chief of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for a dozen years, most of them good. He also covered politics and the Legislature for The Associated Press before joining the staff of the Tribune.Root is the author of “Oops! A Diary From The 2012 Campaign Trail,” an insider’s account of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s dramatic collapse in the 2012 presidential race. The book was released in September, 2012.

Recent Contributions

Hundreds Protest Call To Reject Syrian Refugees

Rally in front of the Governor's Mansion to protest Gov. Abbott's decision not to accept at Syrian refugees on November 22, 2015
Rally in front of the Governor's Mansion to protest Gov. Abbott's decision not to accept at Syrian refugees on November 22, 2015

A few hundred demonstrators, carrying placards and chanting slogans, rallied outside the Texas Governor’s Mansion Sunday to protest Gov. Greg Abbott’s attempts to block refugees fleeing civil war in Syria from settling in Texas. 

On 37-Mile March, Immigrants Slam Abbott

Immigrants and activists begin a 37-mile march to Austin on Nov. 19, 2015 to show their support for immigration reform. The marchers planned to walk for three days, from the federal immigration detention facility in Taylor to the Texas Governor's Mansion in downtown Austin.
Immigrants and activists begin a 37-mile march to Austin on Nov. 19, 2015 to show their support for immigration reform. The marchers planned to walk for three days, from the federal immigration detention facility in Taylor to the Texas Governor's Mansion in downtown Austin.

Carrying placards, chanting in Spanish and calling for a halt to deportations of people without work papers, a few dozen immigrants and activists began their 37-mile “pilgrimage” Thursday from a federal detention facility to the Texas Governor’s Mansion.

Abbott Hits Dallas Over "Sanctuary" Policies

Gov. Greg Abbott speaks with reporters after voting early in the constitutional amendment election Wednesday at the Travis County Courthouse. Abbott discussed the state's recent move against Planned Parenthood and whether he plans to endorse any candidate in the Republican race for the White House.
Gov. Greg Abbott speaks with reporters after voting early in the constitutional amendment election Wednesday at the Travis County Courthouse. Abbott discussed the state's recent move against Planned Parenthood and whether he plans to endorse any candidate in the Republican race for the White House.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott warned the Dallas County sheriff on Monday that her new and softer approach to dealing with undocumented immigrants who commit crimes here “will no longer be tolerated in Texas.”

 

Emails: Prosecutors Got Texas Mutual "Great Publicity"

Travis County District Attorney's office in Austin, Texas.
Travis County District Attorney's office in Austin, Texas.

Travis County prosecutors say the money they get each year from Texas Mutual to prosecute workers’ compensation fraud helps consumers. But in internal emails, they readily admit they’re generating cash and publicity for the insurer.

TribCast: Live from the 2015 Texas Tribune Festival

Texas Tribune Festival attendees attended a pre-Festival recording of the TribCast on Oct. 16, 2015. The recording featured special guests from our presidential podcast — The Ticket 2016 — and Reveal, a program from the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Texas Tribune Festival attendees attended a pre-Festival recording of the TribCast on Oct. 16, 2015. The recording featured special guests from our presidential podcast — The Ticket 2016 — and Reveal, a program from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Check out the 2015 Texas Tribune Festival's live recording of the TribCast, featuring our presidential podcast (The Ticket 2016), Reveal (a program from the Center for Investigative Reporting) and some extra special guests.

Austin Leaders Blast State Leaders Over Immigration

Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt meet a girl after a rally at the Workers Defense Project in East Austin on Oct. 10, 2015.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt meet a girl after a rally at the Workers Defense Project in East Austin on Oct. 10, 2015.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, wading into the volatile debate over immigration, blasted state Republican leaders for blocking an executive order that would allow millions of undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation.