#MediaMonday – Ron Dungan
Today we are introducing you to Ron Dungan from KJZZ. Ron was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, prior to joining the team at KJZZ where he is a senior field correspondent. Ron and I most recently worked on a story about the Havasupai Tribe.
Ron, please share a bit about yourself.
How did you get into the journalism profession?
I got into journalism because I loved to read when I was younger, so it seemed logical to try my hand at writing. Financially speaking, it was probably a mistake, but it’s too late to fix that now, and I’m not sure it needs fixing. I love what I do. How many people can say that?
How was the transition from print to broadcast?
It wasn’t easy. I was hired in the thick of the pandemic, which meant I had about three days of training in the studio. I figured out the rest at home. I think my years working in newspaper production helped. And we have a great staff – there was always someone available whenever I had questions.
What are some of your favorite stories to work on?
A lot of my stories are about the intersection of human history and natural history in the Southwest, which is frequently a history of loss, but also of resilience and renewal. Sometimes I just follow my nose.
What are some of your favorite outdoor spots to visit here in Arizona, in the Southwest?
I don’t have any favorite spots. I like just about everything that’s out there, from the Sonoran Desert to the White Mountains and on up to the Colorado Plateau. I fly-fish a lot, so a lot of places I like have fishable water, but I’m perfectly happy to hike in the desert. People are surprised that we have so much water in Arizona, but the drought can be pretty hard on our streams. That can send me into Colorado once or twice a year, which can also have droughts.
Favorite type of music?
I’ve dabbled in blues and jazz, but I listen to a lot of rock music. One of my favorite bands these days is Tedeschi Trucks Band, which sort of mashes all those kinds of music together into one sound. Their lead guitarist is Derek Trucks, who used to play with the Allman Brothers. I heard his wife, Susan Tedeschi, years ago on Bob Corritore’s blues program on KJZZ. Eventually they formed their own band, brought in horns, keyboards, backup singers. It’s a big sound, but they can strip it down when they want.
Just about anything local, from my garden to the local restaurants down the road.
I just can’t pick one favorite book or even a favorite author. I read a lot, and it would be impossible to pick a favorite book, but I have a long list of favorite authors, dating back to grade school when I read Tolkien, to the present: Faulkner, Steinbeck, Vonnegut, Abbey. There’s Stephen Pyne, the fire historian, Craig Childs, Charles Bowden, Charles Frazier, Ron Carlson, Pete Dexter, Sherry Simpson, Saul Bellow, Elizabeth Strout, Andrew Krivak, John Gierach, the fishing writer. I just finished a novel by Leif Enger, and right now I’m reading a James Lee Burke. I could go on but I better stop.