[Webinar] The State of the Media Amidst National Tragedy & COVID-19

June 15, 2020

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The media has been on the frontline throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and helped drive the narrative.  Now, amidst a national tragedy and widespread protests, the media’s prominent role and influence face new challenges. Veteran Fort Worth Journalist & media consultant, and new Sunwest Managing Director Rebecca Rodriguez moderates a conversation with seasoned journalists and leaders in the news business who share their take on the state of media and its impact.


john mccaa carolyn mungo

rebecca rodriquez managing director

WOWT-TV OMAHA-November 1976- May 1984: Reporter, later Weekend Anchor and finally 6PM News Anchor
WFAA-TV DALLAS/FORT WORTH June 1984-2019: Fort Worth Reporter, Fort Worth Newsroom Manager, Weekend Anchor& News Manager, 5pm Anchor and News Manager 5,6, and 10PM Senior News Anchor

Creighton University – Omaha, Nebraska – BA Journalism and Mass Communications (Davis Scholarship Winner: Omaha Press Club)
University of Dallas – Irving, Texas – Masters’ Politics
University of Texas at Dallas – Ph.D. Humanities-History of Ideas

During a 40+ year career McCaa has produced or participated in the production of countless pieces of award-winning Journalism as a News Presenter, Anchor, Reporter, Writer, Producer, and Researcher.  I have moderated major political debates among candidates on a local and state level, including statewide debate broadcasts for Governor of Texas and the U.S. Senate.

Carolyn is the Vice President and Station Manager of WFAA in Dallas. She was promoted  in 2019 after serving eight years as the station’s Executive News Director.  Under her leadership, WFAA has been honored with eight National Edward R. Murrow awards, a duPont Columbia award, and three national IRE awards for excellence in investigative journalism. She continues to  transform a legacy media property to meet the needs of an evolving audience, with a particular focus on innovation and digital excellence. She is a storyteller at heart, having worked as an Emmy award winning reporter in Austin, Minneapolis, Phoenix and Houston before moving to management. She has served on the national advisory board for the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, and is a frequent speaker and facilitator with RTDNA. She is currently on the board of the Texas Association of Broadcasters. Carolyn has two daughters, one who followed in her journalistic footsteps, and another in college majoring in finance.

Steve is an Emmy Award winning journalist. He has been recognized nationally for his coverage of Public Education and his reports from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina garnered the “Best News Story” Katie Award from the Press Club of Dallas.

Steve was the only broadcast journalist embedded with the 56th Brigade of the Texas National Guard during Operation Iraqi Freedom.   He also traveled with a group of Dallas physicians to Haiti in early 2010 to report on the aftermath of the devastating earthquake there.

He may be most noted for his coverage of the Dallas Independent School District. His daily reports provide solid information regarding the academic and educational landscape of North Texas.

Emily Ramshaw, The 19th’s co-founder and CEO, was until recently the editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune, a Peabody Award-winning, 10-year-old news startup that boasts the largest statehouse bureau in the nation, powers the pages of newspapers across Texas and the nation, and is considered the gold standard for sustainability in local news. She is also the youngest person ever to be named to the board of the Pulitzer Prize, where she is serving a nine-year term.

In addition to overseeing more than 60 Tribune employees, a $10 million budget and 50+ live events annually, Ramshaw has spoken both nationally and internationally about the Tribune’s business model, deemed “the nonprofit news sector’s runaway success.”

Before helping to found the Tribune a decade ago, Ramshaw was an award-winning investigative reporter at The Dallas Morning News, where she broke national stories about sexual abuse inside Texas’ youth lock-ups, reported from inside a West Texas polygamist compound and uncovered “fight clubs” at state institutions for people with disabilities.
A native of Washington, D.C., Ramshaw graduated from Northwestern University in 2003 with dual degrees in journalism and American history.