Mark Binker, a force in NC politics and journalism

Sad news this weekend as we all learned about the sudden death of political reporter Mark Binker at 43.

Binker covered North Carolina politics for The News and Record in Greensboro, where I was lucky enough to be one of the many young journalists who worked with and learned from him. He moved to WRAL, where he did some incredible reporting on state government for the station’s website and on TV. Most recently he took a position with the News & Observer’s political newsletter The Insider, where he was writing some must-read columns about the state of North Carolina government politics.

We immediately saw Binker’s life and work praised by the Governor, by the heads of the NC Democratic and Republican parties, by leadership on both sides in the General Assembly and members of the U.S. House and Senate.

How many reporters, in this politically volatile and incredibly divided state, command that sort of respect?

He was also beloved by his fellow reporters, who considered him “the soul of the N.C. Press Room.”

There are very few reporters in the state who could compete with Binker — and there were very few who don’t have a story or two about his helping them when they needed it, in ways big and small. He believed in journalists and journalism, earning the respect of hard bitten news people and politicians alike because he represented the best of the profession.

And, honestly, he would have had a lot of cutting jokes about all of us saying all of these nice things about him now.

A fund has been set up to help his wife and two sons, Mason and Max.


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