Austin Jenkins

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. He regularly files stories for NPR News. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin was a freelance general assignment reporter at KING–TV, the NBC affiliate in Seattle. He also worked as a freelance education reporter for KPLU–FM, the Tacoma–based NPR station. Austin spent 2001 in Washington, D.C. as a Knight Foundation/American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow. Austin has also worked as a television reporter in Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; Casper, Wyoming; and Bozeman, Montana. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and has a B.A. in Government from Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut.

Over the years Austin has won numerous professional awards for his reporting. He lives in Olympia with his wife Jennifer Huntley and their two children.

Read Austin's blog, "The Washington Ledge: Dispatches From Olympia."


NPR Story
5:23 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Child Abuse Reports Increase; Washington Case Workers Face Down 'Crisis'

CPS investigator Xyzlora Brownell says one of the hardest parts of her job is deciding to remove children from their parents.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 8:38 am

The agency that oversees child welfare in Washington wants to hire nearly 100 more child protection workers.

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NPR Story
4:53 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Low-Wage Workers Rally In Olympia

Activists rally in support of a $15 per hour minimum wage on the steps of the Washington capitol building in Olympia.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Low-wage workers picketed and rallied across the country Thursday in support of a $15 per hour minimum wage.

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NPR Story
5:43 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Gun Store Owner Wary Of Participating In Background Check Law

Don Teague of Private Sector Arms in Olympia says he doesn't want to profit on Washington's new background check requirement.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Washington’s new background check law for person-to-person gun sales and transfers takes effect Thursday.

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NPR Story
3:18 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Washington Prisons Aim To Learn From Inmate Suicides

An aerial view of Washington Corrections Center in Shelton.
Ian Maddox Flickr

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 10:17 am

Two Washington prison inmates have committed suicide in recent weeks at the state’s main intake facility in Shelton.

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NPR Story
4:27 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Ethics Board To Consider If Lawmakers Should Report Free Meals

Brianhe Wikimedia

Washington’s Legislative Ethics Board has capped the number of free meals lawmakers can accept from lobbyists.

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NPR Story
4:31 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Seattle's King County To Study Jury Diversity

File photo of City Hall Park and King County Courthouse in Seattle
Joe Mabel Wikimedia

King County, Washington, is more than 30 percent non-white. But juries in the state’s most populous county often don’t reflect that diversity.

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NPR Story
5:20 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Locke On Coal Exports: Set Rules For How China Uses It

File photo of an operating coal-fired power plant in China.

Coal export terminals are in the permitting process in both Washington and Oregon, but they face heavy opposition.

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NPR Story
5:11 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Washington Legislative Caucuses Race Freeze On Fundraising

Invitations to legislative caucus fundraisers in Olympia before the December 13 campaign freeze takes effect.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

The election is over, but not the political fundraising. Washington state lawmakers are racing the clock to replenish their coffers before the freeze.

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NPR Story
3:24 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

WSU President Hopes To Present 'Unified Front' On Medical School

An existing building on the WSU Spokane campus would be used for the proposed medical school.
Washington State University

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 11:32 am

This January, Washington State University plans to ask lawmakers for permission to open a medical school in Spokane.

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NPR Story
4:35 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Squeezing Toothpaste Becomes Analogy For Washington Budget

Justin Henry Flickr

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 7:22 am

To raise taxes, or not raises taxes? That is the question. Washington Democrats have been hinting at yes. Republicans like Senate budget chair Andy Hill say it’s a last resort.

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