Born and raised in New York City, Medina studied philosophy at Wellesley College, Harvard University and the University of Edinburgh before getting her M.A. in philosophy from the University of Chicago. She began her television career in Chicago, later becoming a Network Producer for NBC News, and then a Network Correspondent and Producer for ABC News.
In 1975, Ms. Medina moved to Canada. She worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Newsmagazine where she later became its Executive Producer. She joined CBC's The Journal when it began in 1981, becoming its Senior Foreign Correspondent, focusing on stories in the Mideast, but also reporting from China, Nicaragua, Northern Ireland, Africa, Bhopal and elsewhere. In 1983-84 she was the Beirut Bureau Chief for CBC's The National and The Journal.