Laura Leslie

Laura Leslie

Capitol bureau chief

Professional Experience:
2011 to present: capitol bureau chief, WRAL-TV; 2004 to 2011: capitol bureau chief, North Carolina Public Radio/WUNC, Chapel Hill, N.C.; 2004: assistant editor, Weekend America, American Public Media, Los Angeles, Calif.; 2002 to 2003: capitol/metro reporter, Capitol Public Radio/KXJZ, Sacramento, Calif.; 1994-2002: host/reporter, WFIU, Bloomington, Ind.

Awards & Recognition:

President, Capitolbeat (a national organization of statehouse reporters and editors), January 2011; Best Enterprise, Newswriting, Feature, General News – Radio, The Associated Press, N.C., March 2010; Best Political/Election Coverage – Radio, Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas, October 2009; Best General News, Use of Sound – Radio, The Associated Press, N.C., March 2009; Second Place, Best Blog, Society of Professional Journalists, July 2008; Best Political General and Political Election – Radio, Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas, October 2007; Casey Medal, Understanding Poverty, WUNC, Casey Journalism Center, June 2006; Silver Baton, Understanding Poverty, WUNC, DuPont-Columbia, December 2005. She has been recognized by The Washington Post as one of the best state capitol reporters in America.

News Philosophy:
State politics is to me what March Madness is to a sports fan, but a lot of people think it's boring, usually because they don't realize the impact of statehouse decisions on their everyday lives. My mission is to help you understand what happens on Jones Street and why it matters to you.

Education:
MA, English, Indiana University – Bloomington, Bloomington, Ind., 1995; BA, Humanities, Stetson Universty, Deland, Fla., 1990

Birthplace:
Elkhart, Ind.

Hobbies, Interests & Community Involvement:
New media, statehouse journalism (president of Capitolbeat, the national association of statehouse reporters and editors), cooking, gardening, music, animal rescue

Family & Pets:
Two dogs, four cats – all rescues. They run the place. I’m just the staff.

Favorite Books & Movies:
”The Usual Suspects,” “The Constant Gardener,” “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Fight Club,” “Up,” “Wall-E,” the “Harry Potter” series, “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “Fargo”

Favorite Websites:

Romenesko, Wonkette, Political Wire, I Can Has Cheezburger

Likes Best About North Carolina:
People are just so NICE here. I appreciate that!