Journalists to question candidates

Debates
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Candidates for governor will field questions from four award-winning journalists:  

Moderator Katina Rankin, anchor at Local 24 News Memphis, Panelists Richard Ransom, managing editor and anchor at Local 24 News, Eric Barnes, publisher of The Memphis Daily News, The Nashville Ledger, The Knoxville Ledger, and The Hamilton County Herald, and Bob Mueller, anchor at WKRN News 2 in Nashville

Here is more information about the panel: 

Moderator Katina Rankin is evening co-anchor at Local 24 News.  From Magee, Mississippi, Rankin earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Alcorn State University and her master’s in broadcast journalism from Jackson State University. Before Local 24 News, she was anchor of the top rated morning news at  WLBT-TV, Jackson, Miss.  She held similar positions at WSMV-TV Nashville, WTVD-TV Raleigh-Durham, NC; and WAPT-TV, Jackson, Miss.

Rankin is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the National Association of Black Journalists.

She has been recognized for her reporting by the Associated Press multiple times. Rankin is the recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award, the Athletes for Progress Award, and has been honored by many other prestigious organizations. Rankin has also been named Mississippi Woman of the year.

Panelist Richard Ransom is weeknight news co-anchor and managing editor at Local 24 News. He has more than 20 years of experience reporting on the issues and people affecting Memphis and the Mid-South. He also hosts “Local 24 News This Week”.  

Ransom graduated from the University of Missouri, and interned at ABC News in London.  

He has deep roots in Memphis news.  He anchored mornings at WMC-TV, and evenings at WREG-TV. 

Ransom also worked as weekend anchor and reporter at WMBD-TV in Peoria, Ill., investigative reporter at WJXT-TV in Jacksonville, Fla., and main anchor at WITI-TV in Milwaukee, Wisc. 

Ransom is the winner of numerous Regional Emmy and Associated Press awards for breaking news, feature stories and best newscast. He has interviewed President Barack Obama, covered the Memphis Tigers at the Final Four in San Antonio, reported from the funeral of former president Ronald Reagan, and the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in Houston.

Panelist Bob Mueller anchors the evening news at WKRN-TV News 2 in Nashville. He also produces and hosts “This Week with Bob Mueller.” 

Mueller graduated from Southern Illinois University with a B.A. in Fine Arts.  

He began his career as a reporter, producer, and anchor for WMDB-TV in Peoria, Illinois, then moved to WTVC-TV in Chattanooga as an investigative and state government reporter. He joined News 2 in 1980 as a field reporter covering the State Capitol.

Mueller has brought his viewers some major historical events. He covered the first space shuttle launch in 1981. He was there when President Jimmy Carter returned to Plains, Georgia after leaving the White House. He was the first reporter to talk with President Carter about the release of the hostages in Iran. Besides covering several Democratic and Republican Presidential Conventions and two Presidential Inaugurations, Mueller has interviewed Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Al Gore, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Mueller has worked with the Boy Scouts for 17 years, and sits on the advisory board for NAMI (Nashville Mental Illness Organization). The Bob Mueller M.S. Celebrity Challenge has raised over $1,000,000 to fight M.S. He has been a member of the Nashville Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Board of Trust for the past 18 years.

Mueller has earned many journalism awards, including the George Foster Peabody National Award for investigative reporting, three National Telly Awards, and two National Communicator Awards. He’s won 10 Emmy Awards and is a member of the Silver Circle.  Mueller also has awards from the Associated Press and the Radio Television News Directors Association.  

Panelist Eric Barnes is the Publisher of The Memphis Daily News, The Nashville Ledger, The Knoxville Ledger, and The Hamilton County Herald. He also hosts “Behind the Headlines” on WKNO-TV.  Barnes is also author of three novels, including “Something Pretty, Something Beautiful”, “Shimmer” and “The City Where We Once Lived.”  He has published more than 40 short stories.

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