Director of Investigations & Innovation / Political Host
Josh Hinkle is KXAN’s Director of Investigations & Innovation, leading the station’s duPont and IRE Award-winning investigative team on multiple platforms. He also leads KXAN’s political coverage as the executive producer and host of “State of Texas,” a weekly program 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 2015 for coverage of the women’s health debate, in 2017 for an exposé on border security funding, and in 2019 for an investigation into financial questions surrounding Texas’ oil and gas regulators. The show has also earned seven consecutive Emmys as the Best Political Program in Texas.
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 Best Investigative Series in Texas. In 2019, he launched the station’s first podcast series, “Catalyst,” which accompanies the multi-platform investigations “Mayberry Texas” about flaws in the state’s missing persons system and “A History of Mass Violence” about four decades of mass shootings in Texas. “Mayberry Texas” was also a national finalist for an Online Journalism Award and Emmy winner for Journalistic Enterprise in 2019. In 2020, Josh and his team debuted a new digital-first investigation called “Locked in Limbo,” which highlights mental competency challenges among Texas inmates. That project featured a solutions journalism approach to storytelling – a concept Josh has helped implement at KXAN through initiatives like 2019’s “Save Our Students: Solutions for Wellness & Safety,” which was the national recipient of Mental Health America’s Media Award and is a national finalist for the National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation’s Service to America Award.
Josh was named Reporter of the Year by the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters in both 2012 and 2013 and also earned an Emmy as Best General Assignment/Spot News Reporter in Texas. Before coming to Austin, Josh worked as a reporter, anchor and producer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Columbia, Missouri; and Oklahoma City. In his career, he has received multiple Edward R. Murrow Awards and Emmys, plus several other honors from the Headliners Foundation of Texas, the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, the State Bar of Texas, the Texas State Teachers Association, the Texas Medical Association, the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters, the Iowa Associated Press, the Iowa Broadcast News Association, the Missouri Broadcasters Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and Spanish from Oklahoma State University, then his masters in journalism and public policy from the University of Missouri. Josh teaches broadcast journalism at St. Edward’s University in Austin. He has also guest-lectured at the University of Texas and the University of Missouri, in addition to hosting multi-platform, investigative and political coverage workshops for the Texas Association of Broadcasters. He has also spoken at conferences for both the Investigative Reporters & Editors organization, the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, the National Press Photographers Association and the Radio Television Digital News Association.
Originally from Oklahoma, Josh loves spending time with friends and family. When he is free, he enjoys watching movies, traveling and exploring the Austin area with his dog, Betty Blue.