Jason Whitely is a Senior News Reporter at WFAA in Dallas and host of Inside Texas Politics, a weekly political broadcast that airs Sunday at 9 a.m. on Channel 8.
1) Who are you? Jason Whitely is a Senior News Reporter at WFAA and host of Inside Texas Politics, a weekly political broadcast that airs Sunday at 9 a.m. on Channel 8.
In his 28-year career, Jason has reported extensively on immigration and security issues along the U.S.– Mexico border, witnessed four executions of prison inmates on Texas' Death Row, covered aviation with American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, the collapse of Enron, the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, along with ten hurricanes, including Harvey which submerged Houston in 2017 and Katrina which crippled New Orleans in 2005.
His peers have honored him with 24 Emmy Awards, two Edward R. Murrow Awards and two dozen others from the Associated Press in Tennessee, Illinois, and Texas, along with the Houston Press Club, the Dallas Press Club, the Texas Medical Association, the Missouri Broadcasters Association, and the Tennessee School Boards Association. He won the Emmy for Best General Assignment Reporter in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2010 and 2005.
He earned a B.A. in Political Science from Western Kentucky University.
Prior to coming to Dallas, Jason worked for KHOU, Channel 11 in Houston, KMOV, Channel 4 in St. Louis and at WKRN, Channel 2, in Nashville.
2) What are your interests? Professionally, I’ve always been interested in government and politics. It’s the biggest team sport on the planet. History is important to understand context and have perspective on what’s happening. Finally, photography has always interested me. If you’re on Instagram, you can find me @jasonwhitely.
Personally, I like to travel. My family and I have visited 177 cities in 26 countries on six continents. Where’s my favorite place? Each city is unique but I am a big fan of Japan, having visited there nine times. In Athens, Greece 15-years ago, I ended up on a guided tour bus. As I sat there looking out the window I thought I really wanted to be on the street, ducking into stores and restaurants at will, sampling the culture. No longer will I travel in a pack like that. I enjoy taking side streets, walking around corners, down a flight of stairs, looking for new places to explore, discovering how other people live.
It’s cliché now to say you’re a foodie but I like to try different cuisines. Finding new taquerias in town is my own culinary challenge. There are not many dishes I don’t like… or won’t at least try.
3) What do you like about working at WFAA? WFAA is a destination for journalists. There aren’t many television stations in the United States with a consistent commitment to journalism like Channel 8 has had for decades. Colleagues help one another rather than compete against each other. There’s an understanding and appreciation for how good photography can help explain a story. And it’s always a learning experience to work around journalists who break stories that competitors then follow. Being innovative and implementing new ideas aren’t always welcome in a lot of organizations. They are here. WFAA’s journalists, unafraid to ask the uncomfortable questions, help start conversations in the community.
4) What's one thing people would be surprised to learn about you? I don’t drink coffee.
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