Sen. Jackie Winters
  • Reporter, 1966-2005.

About Chuck Beggs

Chuck Beggs grew up in Tacoma, Washington, and from an early age, he enjoyed writing. He pursued journalism as his undergraduate degree while attending college at the University of Oregon. 

In 1966, after graduating from college, Beggs started work at the Salem Capitol Journal. He started out by covering local government and city councils. This work led to a newfound interest in politics. 

Beggs then worked for the Statesman Journal from 1970-1976. After covering politics for the Salem Capitol Journal, he jumped when the political beat opened up at the Statesman. In his interview, he describes his belief that reporting is a noble cause. “The press’ core mission to tell the people what the government’s doing, what it’s not doing”. 

Beggs worked with the Associated Press for 29 years; from 1977-2005. Most of his time with the AP was spent at the Capitol, working from a press office in the basement.

Beggs describes covering the legislative session in his interview. He notes that it involves juggling priorities when it comes to what floor sessions to attend. He says that he saw some of the most progressive legislation during the beginning of his career, in the 1971 and 1973 sessions. In between the legislative sessions, he paid more attention to state agency news, governor news and covering arguments in the appellate courts.

Beggs’ interview was filmed around the time of his retirement, and he wanted to share the lessons he learned throughout his career with aspiring reporters. One of these tips was to advise them to familiarize themselves with legislative staff. He also discusses the importance of prioritizing work and not getting overwhelmed, which served him well in his career. 

– Interview recorded November 9, 2005