Janie McCauley (’98 Comm.) graduated from Washington State University 25 years ago with a communications degree. Since then, she has used her experiences at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication to build a career as an award-winning sports reporter in the Bay Area. She is known by her peers as a reporter of the people, treating everyone with respect, and demanding the same in return.
Murrow College dean Bruce Pinkleton said players and coaches at every level of sports treat her with a tremendous amount of respect, which she has earned over the years.
“Her quality as a reporter is much more than the surface stuff, her work is outstanding,” Pinkleton said.
McCauley said one of the articles she is proudest of writing is based on a visit she made to San Quentin State Prison to play tennis with some of the inmates and learn their stories.
“It was fascinating to see how they seek community. They’re human beings, too. It was life changing,” McCauley said.
Pinkleton said McCauley exemplifies what being a Murrow graduate is all about – going beyond the headlines.
“To go to a prison and talk to prisoners, it does take courage in some respects,” Pinkleton said. “Recognizing that there’s a reason they’re in prison, but also recognizing their humanity as well.”
Part of McCauley’s job is building relationships with players. She said she used her experience at WSU to prepare herself for interviewing high-level athletes and is now reaping the benefits of what WSU taught her.
“I watch Steph Curry practice almost every day,” McCauley said. “He asked me to come in the locker room after the Stanford-Cal women’s basketball game. That comes with years of building relationships. It doesn’t happen within weeks or months.”
Curry cleared her to attend the game to report on him, as well as the game. Curry is Stanford Cardinal star Cameron Brink’s god-brother.
McCauley said her classes at Murrow were good preparation for her because she got to work in the field, working high school games every Friday and Saturday night. She also took advantage of free-lance reporting opportunities.
“I covered Vandal football my junior year. I had great mentors and advisors,” McCauley said.
After college, McCauley covered the Seattle Mariners with the Associated Press bureau in Seattle. McCauley grasped the attention of readers with her stellar coverage of Mariners lchiro Suzuki’s rookie campaign. She then moved on to the Bay area where she has covered high-profile athletes including Barry Bonds and championship teams such as the Golden State Warriors.
“I go to most of the Warriors’ home games. I’m at sporting events almost five times a week. I’m very lucky,” McCauley said.
McCauley has used all Murrow gave to her to travel the world to report on sports stories. She has been to three Summer Olympics, two Winter Olympics, the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, a Super Bowl and four MLB World Series.
In 2022, McCauley received the Murrow Hall of Achievement Award for her outstanding achievements. McCauley also received the 2006 Associated Press Sportswriter of the Year award.
Pinkleton has known McCauley since the 1990s when he was a professor and McCauley was a student.
“She’s done exceptionally terrific helping our students. She’s a terrific representative of our program,” Pinkleton said.