Jessica Meszaros

Host, Reporter

Jessica Meszaros is a reporter and host of All Things Considered for WGCU News.

She won five Florida Associated Press Broadcasters awards in 2017: Two were for light news features, including coverage of the state's wild pig meat industry, and of local conversations about death preparedness. Jessica was also recognized for her live afternoon newscast discussing Florida's controversial death penalty process, and a toxic red tide algae bloom poisoning Southwest Florida's marine life. Her live call-in talk show about LGBT legislation in Florida and the deadliest year for the transgender community also won. And finally, Jessica won as part of the WGCU news team covering a local shooting that left two teens dead

Her story on the state struggling to eradicate diseased and abandoned orange groves won an Edward R. Murrow Regional Award for Excellence in Writing, and second place for Best Writing in PRNDI's Division B category in 2017. 

In 2016, she won two  Murrow regional awards for best newscast and best writing. She also won second place in the 2016 Sunshine State Awards for her general coverage of Florida's environmental issues. 

Jessica was previously a freelance multimedia reporter for Miami’s public radio station, WLRN Radio, for more than two years.

In the summer of 2013, Jessica interned for NPR's All Things Considered  in Washington D.C. She has a background in newspaper reporting from her summer 2014 internship with the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida.  

Jessica graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Honors College.


The Radio Television Digital News Association has awarded the WGCU News team the national Edward R. Murrow Award for Breaking News Coverage for "Hurricane Irma Hits Southwest Florida." 

A red tide algae bloom is persisting along Sarasota County beaches. Background concentrations of the toxic organism Karenia brevis are typical in Gulf waters, but very low to medium concentrations have been recorded across parts of Florida's west coast. 

Savanna Barry, UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station

Researchers in Florida received funding from the federal government to restore seagrasses in the Gulf of Mexico. The goal is to protect about 30 acres of the sea floor, and repair about half of that.

Jessica Meszaros / WGCU News

Federal agriculture officials are now making a couple billion dollars available to growers, including those in Florida who were affected by Hurricane Irma... seven months after the storm. 

Jessica Meszaros / WGCU FM

After about 30 years, researchers compiled evidence showing that Manatee Mineral Springs Park in the City of Bradenton was home to escaped slaves. The community was thought to be called Angola. 

Former slaves fled the United States to Florida because it was a safer Spanish territory at the time. Researchers say they came to the Bradenton park because of a small spring that flows just a block from the Manatee River. Now, the National Park Service has reached out, asking the park to apply for official designation of being part of the Underground Railroad Network

Daphney Towns lives in Bradenton, but she’s from the Bahamas. She became interested in the park’s history about a year ago, and is now planning a festival in the summer called “Back to Angola.” 

“We're gonna be bringing a delegation from 40-to-50 persons from the Bahamas," she says. "A lot of them are coming from Red Bays, which are actually descendants of the Seminole Indians. And they're going to be bringing some of their wood carving, their basket weaving, a lot of cultural food, costumes and a small parade where they will be depicting some of the ancestors.”

The “Back to Angola Festival” runs from July 13th through the 15th.

WGCU's Jessica Meszaros speaks with experts about the historical significance of this park.