Janet St. James

Janet St. James

Janet St. James joined WFAA-TV in July 1996 as a general assignments reporter. She has been the News 8 medical reporter since 2000.   

Over the years, Janet she has covered a wide variety of stories, from breaking news events including the Oklahoma City bombing, Hurricane Katrina evacuations and chaos in the wake of 9/11. 

Her medical investigative reporting has been critical to changing laws, including health regulations for nail spas and public water spray parks.  Her reports also resulted in a black-box warning on the anti-smoking drug Chantix and eliminating potentially toxic zinc from denture adhesives.  She is proud to have helped expose and the warn the public about major health outbreaks, including the swine flu epidemic and the spread of the cryptosporidium parasite.

Janet’s work has been featured on television stations nationwide and on network television shows including ABC’s Good Morning America, Katie, and CNN. She has been a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Phil Donahue, and Katie.  

Her work has been honored with many awards including, Emmy Awards, Edward R. Murrow, National Headliner's, Associated Press, Texas Medical Association,  the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Association of Women Journalists, and more.   

Before working at WFAA-TV, Janet worked at KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City and KTAB-TV in Abilene.  Prior to that, Janet earned a teaching certificate and completed her student teaching in the Arlington Independent School District. She was certified to teach journalism, speech and English in secondary school. Janet received her bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin. .   

Janet’s other full-time job includes a husband and three busy children.

When did you decide you wanted to be a journalist?
I decided to become a journalist when I was a senior in high school. When considering careers, my mother suggested television reporter as she knew that I loved public speaking and current events. She was right!

What’s your favorite thing to do in Dallas-Fort Worth?
With three young children, I don't get out much beyond work. When I do, I love to go to restaurants. I love to cook. So I love to see what other people's culinary creations.

If you could interview anyone alive you haven’t interviewed, who would you and why?
I would love to interview past presidents about managing stress.

What made you want to get into the news business?
In addition to enjoying public speaking and current events, I value truth above all other qualities. News seemed the perfect career to meld those interests.

Tell us about a story that you are particularly proud to have brought to the public's attention.
I'm proud to have brought many stories to the public's attention. I have reported on many major breaking news events. I was working at the ABC affiliate in Oklahoma City when the federal building was bombed. I spent many days covering the local impact of 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina. Recently, reports I've done on the anti-smoking drug Chantix helped expose potentially dangerous psychotic side-effects. I'm particularly proud of my reports that linked zinc poisoning to some denture paste use. I continue to believe it could explain neuropathy in countless denture wearers who use adhesives.

How do you convince reluctant sources to appear on-camera?
I never try to pressure anyone into talking to me on camera. I do my best to make them comfortable and reassure a reluctant source that I will tell their side of the story truthfully and respectfully.

Tell us one reason why you love what you do.
What I love most is meeting people from different walks of life, in different life circumstances. At no other job can I imagine spending one day with a princess, the next with a pauper. And giving both equal time.

What quality do you have to have to make it in this business?  
The one quality necessary to make it in this business is a thick skin. A thick skin is what makes it possible for journalists to overcome daily criticism on all fronts, and continue to do the job without a visible ripple.

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