Jay Root — Click for higher resolution staff photos

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

Todd Wiseman / Tomasz Piskorski

Texas Work Safety Hotline Upgraded

More than 20 years after the Texas Legislature passed a law establishing a 24-hour work safety hotline, real people are answering the telephone calls around the clock. 

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Series: Hurting for Work

Here's a look back at our four-part Hurting for Work project, a series on how disdain for government regulation sparked a "Texas miracle" economy — while tearing down protections for the workers who built it. 

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Brandon Thibodeaux

Insurer Drops Suit Against Tyler Widow

Crystal Davis, a stay-at-home mom from Tyler, finally got some welcome news in her battle against an insurance company that sued to cut off the workers’ comp benefits she got after her husband was killed on the job. The insurer is dropping its lawsuit, her lawyer said.


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Justin Dehn

After Catastrophic Fall, Fight of One Worker's Life

When Santiago Arias fell off of an industrial warehouse roof, an expert hired by his attorney called his job site one of the most hazardous he’d seen in 40 years as a safety engineer. But advocates for injured workers say Arias' case is far from unique. 

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Ben Harding

Texas Worker Safety Hotline Falters

State authorities are supposed to maintain a bilingual, 24-hour hotline for workers to report safety violations. Officials acknowledged Friday that the hotline has been inoperative after hours. 

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Illustration by Bob Daemmrich / Todd Wiseman

Perry Baptized Anew in Historic Creek

As he ponders whether to run for president again, Gov. Rick Perry has renewed his faith by getting baptized in the spring waters once used to wash the sins off Sam Houston, the first president of the Republic of Texas.

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