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Journalist Eva McKend is a trailblazer. She was the only Black, female, on-air news anchor in Burlington when she worked at Vermont’s CBS affiliate, WCAX, from 2015 to 2018. And she was among a small number of journalists of color in the state. In 2018, McKend moved to Washington, D.C., to become an on-air congressional correspondent for Spectrum News, a cable news service. McKend, a graduate of Swarthmore College and the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, is a regular guest on the NPR program 1a, and her series of stories on Black hemp farmers in Kentucky has won several awards.
McKend’s current beat includes covering the Kentucky congressional delegation, which is led by one of the most powerful politicians in America, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. McKend’s pointed exchanges with McConnell have made national news. She got McConnell to confirm that humans exacerbate climate change, got him to declare that he would not be an impartial juror in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, and challenged him about reparations for slavery, which he emphatically rejected.
“These are questions that should be asked,” says McKend. “I worry that if I don’t ask them, they’re not going to get asked.”
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