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Meet Mark Payne: LINK Media's Reporter in Frankfort

Mark Payne is LINK Media's politics and government reporter who is embedded in Frankfort covering the 2022 Kentucky General Assembly session.

My career in journalism ended before it started. I graduated with a journalism degree from Northern Kentucky University in 2010 when the economy was not the best and the media landscape was even worse. I interviewed for several positions out of college and about 75 percent of them folded the positions and didn't hire anybody. 

I switched to the marketing and content world, where I earned a living but moonlighted as a freelance journalist during the evenings. Through the years, I've worked at startups as a copywriter, communications specialist at a university, and wrote for a lot of different publications such as the Austin American-Statesman, West Austin News, and CincyInno. 

Along the way, I picked up a master's degree in English from NKU while earning some accolades for my journalistic work. I covered a jazz rabbi in Austin and wrote about how technology was being used to solve the opioid crisis in Ohio. 

But my latest assignment is one I am most excited about as I get to cover the area I grew up in and how political leaders and government are working to impact the region. Northern Kentucky is a vastly different place than it was ten years ago, particularly in my hometown of Bellevue. As an undergraduate, the goal was to get out as soon as possible, but Northern Kentucky became a place to be during that time.

The citizens in Northern Kentucky haven't had a solid news presence in the state capitol since the days of the Kentucky Post.

I'm looking forward to telling relevant stories about how Frankfort's policies impact Northern Kentucky, and holding local legislators accountable.

I look forward to feedback and story ideas. Drop a line at or follow me on Twitter @mark_paynewrite

-Mark Payne