Jobin Panicker is a reporter at WFAA in Dallas, TX, specializing in stories from Collin County.
Jobin is an Emmy® Award winning reporter who joined WFAA Channel 8 in December of 2012. He arrives to us from Fresno, California where he worked at KSEE-24.
His work has garnered over 15 Emmys through 2020. In 2019 he was a national finalist for Reporter of the Year by NPPA (National Press Photographer's Association).He's also a 4-time Regional Edward R. Murrow Award winner. His stories have also won AP Awards. Jobin also won 2 awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. He won that in the areas of Outstanding Features and Culture and Arts.
1) Who are you? I'm proud to say I'm Indian-American. I have a lovely wife and three beautiful children. My parents immigrated from India with only a suitcase and 20$ to their name. My siblings and I were raised in a home deeply-rooted in Indian culture and Christianity. English was the second-language spoken in our home. I was born in New York but raised in California.
I met my wife Jenni in college at Gonzaga University. We are die-hard Gonzaga Bulldog basketball fans. We make sure to take trips to see them play during March Madness. Together we went to Syracuse University for post-grad work. We have two beautiful and energetic biological boys named Jonah and Solomon. Our third, Arya, is a precious little girl who we were blessed to adopt.
I'd like to say I'm the smart one in the family but I very easily am not. That designation goes to my wife who is the most productive task-oriented person I know. She really is the engine that drives our lovely family.
2) What are your interests? Growing up during the Magic Johnson and the "Showtime" era I naturally gravitated toward basketball. I'll watch the game of basketball on just about every level. Being from California I am obviously a die-hard Lakers fan. I'm also secretly hoping my kids pick up the sport when they get older.
May sound weird but my children are my interests. My wife and I invest so much precious time (and money) in them because they're worth it. I wish I could say they keep me young, but they don't.
On a professional level, I am doing exactly what I hoped to be doing: storytelling. I've invested more than a decade into my craft and love doing it. There are few other jobs out there that allow me to be creative and connect with people. I truly enjoy the hard work of crafting beautiful stories about people.
3) What do you like about working at WFAA? I love the freedom that WFAA gives me in being original. The content you see on WFAA is unique. Our stories are well-crafted and made to be memorable. Ultimately we understand that our stories matter. Not just to the people in the story but the thousands of people in the DFW area who witness these stories unfold.
I've always been taught that emotion drives stories. We can connect with people in so many ways just by crafting a story using emotion. The journalists at WFAA understand that. We are always looking for better ways to connect with people.
I also love that WFAA understands the importance of long-form journalism. These are stories that run a little longer than your normal daily story. These stories are carefully crafted, carefully shot, and told over the course of several days. So many newsrooms prioritize brevity. We prioritize telling a strong story with few constraints on time.
4) What's one thing people would be surprised to learn about you? There are so many things that people don't know about me! I'm happy to list off a few:
1. My dad is a Christian Priest with the Orthodox Church.
2. I lost my mom to breast cancer several years ago.
3. My wife and I adopted a precious little girl named Arya.
4. I love ketchup, mustard, and jalapenos on my hotdog.
5. I still hold out hope that Tupac and Kobe may still be alive.
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