#MediaMonday – Stacey Barchenger
Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Stacey Barchenger, who covers Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs and Attorney General Kris Mayes for The Arizona Republic. Stacey’s work recently earned her recognition as the Arizona Journalist of the Year by the Arizona Newspapers Association.
Stacey, time to share:
I have covered politics for The Arizona Republic since 2021. Who could resist a chance to come to a political battleground ahead of an election year? I jumped at the chance, signed an offer letter … and then saw Kari Lake’s campaign video swinging a sledgehammer into vintage TV sets — representing the “fake news,” aka, apparently, me and my colleagues. The rest is history.
I spent 15 months following Lake, now-Gov. Katie Hobbs and other candidates along the campaign trail, with a focus on talking to as many voters as possible and including their voices in my stories. Including the community in my reporting is something I really value, and I try to respond to every reader voicemail and email I receive.
On the trail, Lake was combative, Hobbs was rarely available, and both situations were challenging to navigate. Despite Lake’s frequent attacks on The Republic, I went to a dozen of her rallies and met only one person who wouldn’t speak to me because of my employer. That’s something I’m proud of, as well as the whole of our coverage of the 2022 races.
Politics is not a beat I expected to love when I started my career in Oregon, covering breaking news. But one of the things I love about journalism is constantly learning something new.
My 15-year career has spanned five states and many beats, from chasing breaking news in Oregon to covering politics in New Jersey.
Among the highlights are exposing loopholes in campaign finance law here in Arizona, prompting legislation to remove lead water pipes in New Jersey, and helping a wrongfully convicted man get out of prison in Tennessee. Somewhere along the way I also wrote a story from the perspective of a Sandhill Crane – we have to have fun, too!
For all my adventures in journalism and personification, I feel lucky to be in Arizona and call it home. I’ve found community here and have really taken to hiking the state’s gorgeous trails. I knocked rim-to-river in the Grand Canyon and Havasu Falls off my list earlier this year and am gladly taking recommendations for what the next challenge should be.
Story and hiking tips are welcome at 480-416-5669 or Stacey.Barchenger@arizonarepublic.com.