State Affairs Announces Its Founding Editor-in-Chief Alison Bethel

State Affairs has found the right leader in Alison Bethel. She knows how to build a team, and her commitment to journalism that is true, non-partisan and ethical is unparalleled. Bethel [formerly, Alison Bethel McKenzie] joined State Affairs from Report for America where she was vice president of corps excellence.

NEW YORK, July 22, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — State Affairs Announces Its Founding Editor-in-Chief Alison Bethel

Alison Bethel knew she was going to be a journalist in sixth grade — the day she heard Sandra Dibble, the then-Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at The Miami Herald, speak at Career Fair Day at her elementary school in Miami.

She signed up for both the junior high and high school newspapers and then she landed – at the age of 15 – in the suburban offices of her hometown newspaper, The Miami Herald, covering religion and city hall.

Why State Affairs?

“I am very excited about this opportunity to strengthen the coverage of decisions that emanate from state houses across the country and that have significant impact every day on the lives of average citizens,” she says. “As we all know, the number of reporters covering state houses has shrunk dramatically over the years, but today we are seeing a rebirth in state house news coverage and State Affairs is proud to be a part of that movement. Every day we strive to cover critical issues that impact the daily lives of average citizens. We tell the political stories at the intersection of policy and people.”

Fun Fact?

“I love Asian food, specifically Vietnamese, and I took Chinese cooking classes for years, including once in Taiwan. … Another fun fact? I want to end my working life as an audiobook narrator who cooks Chinese food weekly for her friends!”

Bethel [formerly, Alison Bethel McKenzie] joined State Affairs from Report for America where she was vice president of corps excellence at Report for America, a non-profit initiative of The GroundTruth Project, that places emerging journalists in newsrooms across America, including Hawaii and Alaska, as well as in Puerto Rico and Guam, to cover untold stories and communities.

Previously, she was executive director of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), where she was only the second woman and the first person of color to serve in that capacity in SPJ’s 110 years.

But before the turn to non-profits, she was in the newsroom. An award-winning reporter, bureau chief, senior editor and media trainer, she has worked in senior-level positions at The Boston Globe, The Detroit News, Legal Times and the Nassau Guardian in The Bahamas. Early in her career, she worked as a reporter at the Poughkeepsie Journal, the Times Herald-Record and the non-defunct State Times in Louisiana. She is a board member for Journalism & Women’s Symposium (JAWS), a member of Journal-ism’s Strategic Committee, a board member of Southern Foodways Alliance and an advisory board member for the International Center for Media Ethics and the Ethical Journalism Network. Bethel is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, and also its Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter; and a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She is a former board member of AlJazeera America (N.Y) and a member of The Dallas Press Club. She is also co-founder of the Media Institute of the Caribbean. Alison majored in journalism at Howard University and minored in theater (1984-1988), received a post-graduate certificate in media leadership from the University of Cumbria in the U.K. and is an alumni of Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Education Program.

She is a native of Miami, Florida.

About State Affairs

State Affairs is an independent news website headquartered in New York City. Founded in 2021, the non-partisan, subscription-based news outlet focuses on stories that report the impact state legislation, policy and political figures have on citizens’ everyday lives.

State Affairs launched its first newsroom on Aug. 1, 2021, in Georgia. Editorially independent, State Affairs’ goal is to inform and empower communities and the people who live in them through truthful, well-reported, non-partisan, investigative coverage of state governments that explains how issues happening now impact how residents live their lives and the decisions their families make.




Media Contact

Joy Walstrum, State Affairs, 1 4043585634,


SOURCE State Affairs


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