Award-winning journalist John McCaa, longtime news anchor of WFAA-TV in Dallas, will give the thirteenth annual Rosine Smith Sammons Lecture in Media Ethics at Southern Methodist University (SMU). The lecture is at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Caruth Auditorium, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. The event is free; however, tickets are required and must be reserved in advance by calling the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787. The ticket office is open 12-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Sammons Lecture Series is presented by the Division of Journalism at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.
John McCaa is a familiar face to television viewers in North Texas. He has worked at WFAA-TV in Dallas since 1984, where he anchors the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts and writes “Behind the News,” a weekly column for the station’s website.
A “military brat” who grew up in Idaho, Nebraska and Spain, McCaa began his career at WOWT-TV in Omaha, where he spent seven years working as a reporter and anchor. He joined WFAA as a reporter in the Fort Worth newsroom and was later promoted to bureau chief. He was transferred to the Dallas newsroom as a reporter, then became weekend anchor and news manager, and also served as co-anchor for the 5 p.m. newscast.
McCaa has reported on Texas stories, national stories – including 9/11 and the John F. Kennedy, Jr., plane crash – and internationally from Rome, Hong Kong and Honduras. He has won numerous local Katy and Emmy awards, and has served as president of the Press Club of Dallas and of the Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Communicators.
McCaa earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Creighton University in Omaha, and a master’s degree in politics from the University of Dallas. He is currently working on a Ph.D. in the history of ideas at UTD.
The Rosine Smith Sammons Lecture Series in Media Ethics is funded by a generous endowment from the Rosine Foundation Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas, at the recommendation of Mary Anne Sammons Cree of Dallas. The series is named in honor of her mother, Rosine Smith Sammons, who graduated from SMU in the 1920s with a degree in journalism. The endowment will provide permanent resources for the Meadows School of the Arts to present annual lectures focusing on media ethics.
The Division of Journalism, under Belo Distinguished Chair Tony Pederson, offers concentrations in all media – broadcast, print and Internet – through its convergence journalism program. With the help of a gift from The Belo Foundation, the Division has become one of the few journalism schools in the country to provide hands-on experience through a new digital newsroom, television studio and website.