Josh Hinkle is KXAN’s director of investigations and innovation, leading the station’s 12-person duPont and IRE Award-winning investigative team on multiple platforms. He also leads the Austin-based NBC affiliate’s political coverage as the executive producer and host of “State of Texas,” a weekly program – and companion podcast – focused on the Texas Legislature and elections, seen in 14 markets statewide. His work on the show has been honored three times with the national Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.
In 2018, the Society of Professional Journalists selected “Fallen,” an investigative documentary Josh produced about fatal police shootings and officers’ mental health training, as the recipient of the national Sigma Delta Chi Award for Best Documentary. The same year, “DENIED,” an investigative project he produced about police transparency during in-custody death cases, won an Emmy for investigative series. In 2019, he launched the station’s first podcast series, “Catalyst,” which has been honored twice with a National Edward R. Murrow Award in the podcast category in 2020 and 2022, while a collection of “KXAN Investigates” digital projects Josh led also won a national Murrow in the multimedia category those same years. In 2020, Josh and his team also debuted a digital-first investigation called “Locked in Limbo,” which highlights mental competency challenges among people in Texas jails. It was honored with two Emmys that year for investigative series and journalistic enterprise. In 2021, the team continued its research into this topic, launching “Mental Competency Consequences” after receiving a national fellowship and partnering with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism. The project highlighted untracked deaths on the state hospital waitlist, prompting officials to begin re-examining how they collect information and the impact of a record backlog. It was also honored with a national Murrow in 2022 for “Excellence in Innovation.”
Before coming to Austin, Josh worked as a reporter, anchor and producer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Columbia, Missouri; and Oklahoma City. He serves on the board of directors for both Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas (FOIFT), the former of which he also currently serves as vice president. In his first two years on the IRE board, he also chaired its training committee. Additionally, he sits on the Solutions Journalism Network’s advisory council and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists (NLGJA). Josh earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and Spanish from Oklahoma State University, then his master’s degree in journalism and public policy from the University of Missouri. Josh teaches broadcast and documentary journalism at St. Edward’s University in Austin. Twitter: @hinklej
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