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Olympia Correspondent, Northwest News Network

Austin Jenkins

Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network.

Since 2004, Austin has covered Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington state Legislature. He also host of TVW's Emmy-nominated public affairs program, Inside Olympia. Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise.

Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.


Austin is a graduate of Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut.

Contact Austin Jenkins

Recent Articles

Health | local

Dearth Of Providers, Delays In Authorizations Plague Washington's Medicaid Dental Program

Northwest News Network | Nov. 29, 2016 6 p.m.

A panel of lawmakers is set to hear about ongoing challenges to Washington state's Medicaid program.

News | local

Jail Conditions, Who's Locked Up Have Some Washington Lawmakers Concerned

Northwest News Network | Nov. 22, 2016 6:15 p.m.

Next week, a panel of Washington state lawmakers will hear from experts on ways to improve jail conditions and reduce the jail population.

News | Environment | NW Life | local | Animals

Killing Wolves That Prey On Livestock Could Become More Common In Washington State

Northwest News Network | Nov. 21, 2016 7 p.m.

Under Washington’s wolf management plan, the trigger for so-called “lethal action” is when a wolf pack attacks livestock four or more times in a year.

News | Politics | local

Report: Solitary Confinement Widely Used In Washington Jails

Northwest News Network | Nov. 16, 2016 4:38 p.m.

Disabled inmates are suffering from discrimination and isolation in Washington jails. That’s the finding of a report out Wednesday from Disability Rights Washington.

News | Politics | local

'Lie And Try' To Buy A Gun In Washington? Little Risk Of Arrest, Prosecution

Northwest News Network | Nov. 16, 2016 9:15 a.m.

What happens when someone who's not supposed to have a gun lies about their background and tries to buy one?

News | Election | Politics | local

Andy Hill Remembered As Socially Liberal, Friend To Rural Washington

Northwest News Network | Nov. 14, 2016 7:45 p.m.

Washington state Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond, is being remembered as a social liberal who was a friend to rural Washington.

News | Politics | NW Life | local

Republican State Senators Challenge Decision To Stop Calling Washington Prison Inmates 'Offenders'

Northwest News Network | Nov. 14, 2016 7:30 p.m.

The decision to stop calling Washington state prison inmates "offenders" is not sitting well with a group of Republican state senators.

News | Election | Politics | Nation | Election 2016

'OPB Politics Now': Election Results And The Urban/Rural Divide

OPB | Nov. 10, 2016 10:08 a.m.

In this episode, host Geoff Norcross, OPB senior political reporter Jeff Mapes and Olympia reporter Austin Jenkins wrap up the 2016 election and discuss the role of the urban/rural divide in the Pacific Northwest.

local | Election 2016

Democrats (And 2 Republicans) Ahead In Washington State

Northwest News Network | Nov. 9, 2016 1:30 p.m.

If the presidential race was a stunner, Washington state’s elections were not. Gov. Jay Inslee cruised to re-election as expected. And there were no upsets further down the ballot either.


Despite 'Soft-On-Crime' Attacks, Incumbents Leading In Washington State Supreme Court Races

Northwest News Network | Nov. 9, 2016 1:15 p.m.

Three incumbent Washington Supreme Court justices appear headed to easy reelection.

News | Election | Politics | local | Election 2016

Inslee, Democrats Win In Washington State

Northwest News Network | Nov. 8, 2016 9:33 p.m.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was cruising to re-election Tuesday night with 56 percent of the vote over Republican challenger Bill Bryant.

News | local

Washington Prisons To Cease Calling Inmates 'Offenders'

Northwest News Network | Nov. 3, 2016 7:30 p.m.

Washington prison inmates will no longer be called "offenders." The Secretary of Corrections made that announcement in an all-staff message Tuesday.

News | Politics | local | Election 2016

Republican Leaders Want Public Disclosure Commission Director Suspended

Northwest News Network | Nov. 2, 2016 4:30 p.m.

First they called for her resignation. Now the Republican leaders of the Washington House and Senate are calling for the suspension of the director of the state’s campaign finance watchdog.

News | Politics | local

Washington's Republican Budget Writer Andy Hill Dies Of Lung Cancer

Northwest News Network | Nov. 1, 2016 4:41 p.m.

The lead budget writer in the Washington state Senate has died of lung cancer at age 54. Republican Andy Hill's family announced his death Tuesday.

News | Election | Politics | local

Unraveling Who's Behind Those Negative Ads On TV In Washington

Northwest News Network | Nov. 1, 2016 3:24 p.m.

Negative ads work. That's why political campaigns air them. But these days figuring out who's funding them can be like unraveling a mystery.

News | Politics | local

Attorney General's Report Identifies Gaps In Washington Gun Laws

Northwest News Network | Nov. 1, 2016 5:08 a.m.

A new white paper by the Washington state attorney general’s office finds the state’s system of conducting background checks for gun purchases to be fragmented, complex and inconsistent.

News | Election | Music | local | Election 2016

New 'Soft On Crime' Ad Targets Washington Justice; Supporters Cry Foul

Northwest News Network | Oct. 26, 2016 7:30 p.m.

A group of wealthy Washingtonians has released a second soft-on-crime attack on Supreme Court Justice Charlie Wiggins.

Election | Politics | local | Election 2016

Vulcan, Gates, Ballmers Join List Of Wealthy Washingtonians Trying To Alter Supreme Court

Northwest News Network | Oct. 25, 2016 6:30 p.m.

Paul Allen’s Vulcan, Bill Gates and Steve and Connie Ballmer are among a growing list of wealthy Washingtonians who want to change the makeup of Washington’s Supreme Court.

News | Election | Politics | local | Election 2016

PAC Targets Washington Justice With Hard-Hitting Ad

Northwest News Network | Oct. 21, 2016 5:18 p.m.

A political action committee largely funded by three wealthy Washingtonians has unleashed a hard-hitting attack on a state Supreme Court justice up for re-election.

News | Election | Politics | local

Wealthy Washingtonians Dump $350K Into Effort To Defeat Supreme Court Justice

Northwest News Network | Oct. 20, 2016 4:18 p.m.

A trio of wealthy Washingtonians has just put $350,000 into an effort to defeat a sitting state Supreme Court justice. Their target is Charlie Wiggins who’s been on the court since 2011.