Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Maven Navarro named editor-in-chief of The Crimson White

CW / Riley Thompson

After beginning her college career with two fast-paced years, rising junior Maven Navarro will be taking her journalistic tour de force to the next level by leading The Crimson White as editor-in-chief beginning in May.

Navarro, who hails from Waxahachie, Texas, is currently studying news media and political science. She said that in her early education, she felt as though she didn’t find her niche until she tried her hand at journalism through University Interscholastic League competitions in high school.

“I was one of those people who was kind of OK at everything, but I never really excelled at anything until I joined UIL. Then I started winning, and it was weird,” Navarro said. “Come junior year, I won third place in the state of Texas for journalism. … I kind of surprised myself a lot.”

Even in high school, her ambition was evident. Not only did she win state competitions in journalism “year after year,” she also worked at her high school’s newspaper and eventually became editor-in-chief of that publication, too.

“I remember everyone else in high school was mortified to go get an in-person interview,” Navarro said. “Everyone else would send texts [to other students], like, ‘Hey, what do you think about this?’ instead of actually walking down the hallway to ask somebody something. I was the only one who never had a problem with that.”

When Navarro arrived at The University of Alabama in 2022, she wasted no time getting involved. During her first year, she joined The Crimson White as a contributing writer for the news desk, very quickly working her way up to a staff reporter position in January 2023 and later becoming an assistant news editor for 2023-24.

Her dogged involvement is a quality that has not gone unnoticed by others in student media.

“She was there. That was the biggest thing for me,” said Kayla Solino, 2022-23 assistant news editor. “She was consistent, and consistently committed to bettering herself as a reporter, to showing up for The CW, and to doing whatever was asked of her and doing it well.”

During her time at The Crimson White, she has covered a breadth of stories, communities and issues. Whether it’s missing Native American remains, hazing lawsuits involving a UA fraternity, or issues with apartment complexes around Tuscaloosa, Navarro successfully creates coverage that elevates all kinds of voices through diligent fact-gathering.

“At the end of the day, how well you report is how good the story is going to be,” Navarro said.

Her attention to detail is a signature of her reporting that is not lost on those who regularly read her work. 

“The one thing I would see with all of her stories is that there’s so many sources,” said Mark Mayfield, instructor of news media and one of Navarro’s previous professors. “She’s fair to everyone, there’s so many sources — and good sources. It underscores the effort she does, and I don’t see that from all students.”

Navarro’s determination and commitment to reporting what needs to be published also shines through in her work.

“Journalistic organizations on campus have a mission and an obligation to the campus to report on anything and everything that is going on, including the difficult and controversial stories,” said Tom Arenberg, instructor of journalism and one of Navarro’s former professors. “I know that Maven will not shy away from those kinds of stories. Any campus needs that, and she has the skills to produce those kinds of stories.”

Arenberg, Solino and Mayfield all noted that Navarro’s moral compass as a journalist is one to be respected.

“She’s impressed me as someone who understands that persistent and fearless journalism is ethical and necessary. And it’s not easy,” Arenberg said. “But she understands the importance of it, understands the power of the media to do good or do something that would affect people negatively. You always have to be thinking of the negative consequences. I know she’s aware of that possibility, and that is good and necessary.”

For Navarro, though, the thing that stands out the most from her diverse portfolio is the feeling of gratification that comes with “realizing what we do matters.”

“In January, I wrote an article on Reading Allies needing more volunteers, and it literally took me 10 minutes to write,” Navarro said. “That 10 minutes taken out of my day is helping improve literacy rates in Tuscaloosa.”

Navarro said that, despite facing “plenty of backlash” during her career, seeing this kind of impact in various ways — as when various students thanked her for reporting on the Sigma Alpha Epsilon lawsuit, or when Turkish students expressed gratitude for her coverage of a panel on the emotional effects of earthquakes in their home country — has made it worth it.

“Obviously, it’s hard sometimes, but it’s nice to know what I’m doing is affecting others,” Navarro said. “And for good reasons.”

Navarro has big plans for her time at the helm of The Crimson White, but she said they begin with a diligent focus on elevating all kinds of voices.

“Making sure that my reporters are interviewing the proper people for the proper stories is so, so important,” Navarro said. “If you’re writing about an underrepresented community, you need to be getting those people to talk to you. Another thing is making sure that we have a good, diverse staff, because they might know something that I don’t.”

She said she also hopes to increase coverage and multimedia content, because at a school as large as the University, “there’s always so much going on, and we’re covering probably not even 5% of what’s going on.”

Overall, Navarro said she’s looking forward to doubling down on the newspaper’s commitment to appealing to and serving the student community it serves.

Others are looking forward to seeing what she does, too.

“I’m so optimistic about The Crimson White. I’m always optimistic about The Crimson White, I think it’s so important to this campus,” Mayfield said. “But it’s certainly in good hands going forward with Maven as editor-in-chief.”

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