Sophie Austin covers the California Statehouse for The Associated Press in Sacramento. Before joining the AP, Austin was a data fellow at The Center for Public Integrity while earning a master’s degree in journalism and public affairs at American University. She has covered local and environmental news as an intern for The Dallas Morning News, and as an Emma Bowen Foundation Fellow at PolitiFact, she wrote political fact checks and climate policy stories ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Austin holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from American University, where she was editor-in-chief of the Eagle, the student-run newspaper.
Beat: California statehouse
These journalists have a passion for breaking news and state politics and policy to cover state government. Reporting to a field news editor with a dotted line to the state government editor, they seek to consistently break news and show the impact that policy decisions have on the lives of citizens. They’re self-starters who are comfortable with data sets and freedom of information requests, and also with moving swiftly among topics such as technology, elections, voting laws, inequality, health care, cryptocurrency, education and law enforcement. They know how to find a story at the local level but are comfortable writing it for a broad audience in ways that resonate in a state or community, or around the world. They work in multiple media formats, and have a demonstrated track record of inclusive storytelling. They must have the ability and willingness to work any shift, including at night and on weekends, or as coverage demands, as The AP is a 24/7 operation.