investigative journalist, WJBK
A four-time Emmy-award-winning journalist who has interviewed every U.S president from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush and notables such as Henry Ford II and Mother Theresa, Nancy McCauley was once told at the start of her career to go home and put on a dress before she would be allowed on camera to report the weather.
Over the course of her career, she was shot at more than once, stalked, engulfed by tear gas, burned from the cigarette of an angry protester and accompanied police on drug raids. She always got the story.
Her investigative reporting resulted in stepped-up police monitoring that reduced the flow of heroin on Detroit’s streets; news coverage that led to special legislation to protect the country’s Vietnam veterans from the dangers of jungle defoliant Agent Orange; and regulations to protect Michigan’s elderly.
McCauley’s career began as a Michigan State University journalism student in the 1970s, as she crested the wave of the first women broadcasters. For two decades, she was a reporter and anchor for WJBK, covering issues that impacted Metro Detroit. She moved to the Oakland Press and afterward, became a correspondent for University of Michigan programming that appears on the Big Ten Network and PBS/Detroit.
Her 40-year career in broadcast and print has shaped the history of Michigan’s media landscape and through student mentoring, continues to advance the legacy of responsible press and influence Michigan journalism.