Mealand Ragland-Hudgins

Mealand Ragland-Hudgins

News Director
USA-Today Network’s South Region


  • B.S., Journalism 2003


  • Mealand Ragland-Hudgins spent nearly 20 years with Gannett before retiring in early 2023. Even before earning her degree from Middle Tennessee State University, she began her career as a reporter with the Daily News Journal. She covered K-12 and higher education, growth and development.
  • In 2015, Ragland-Hudgins became the first Black person named editor of the Gallatin News Examiner and Hendersonville Star News. Her duties evolved and she became editor of The Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, the first Black woman to hold such a role for the newspaper. In addition, she served as content coach, allowing her to expand to responsibilities with the company’s other newspapers throughout the state.
  • Five years later, she advanced to regional news director for the USA-Today Network’s South Region, overseeing news operations in nine markets in Middle and West Tennessee. Ragland-Hudgins most recently served as assistant director of the regional planning team, working with newsrooms in seven states with primary responsibilities in Memphis, Mississippi and Arkansas.
  • Honors and awards include the 2021 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Journalism Award for contributions to the USA Today Network’s Confederate Reckoning project, which won the Domestic Print and Grand Prize Honors; Tennessee Press Association and the Tennessee Associated Press and Broadcast Media Editors. She is a graduate of the ASNE Minority Leadership Institute, and Gannett’s Emerging Leaders and Leadership Academy programs.
  • A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., she is married to Alonzo Hudgins. They live in Murfreesboro with their  two children, T’Kayli and Nicholas.

Inducted: 2023 | School of Journalism