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Erica C. Barnett

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Erica Barnett
🏳️ Nationality
Other names
🏫 EducationUniversity of Texas at Austin 1995–1999, BA, philosophy[1]
💼 Occupation
💵 Salary :
📆 Years active  1998–current
Crowdsourced investigative and advocacy journalism
Notable workQuitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery (2020)
🌐 Websitethecisforcrank.com

Erica C. Barnett (born 1977) is an American journalist and blogger who covers the city of Seattle.[5] She is known for her crowdsourced journalism in Seattle.[6][7][8][9]

Viking Press announced it will release her book Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery on July 7, 2020.[10][11]

Early life and education[edit]

Barnett is from Texas. She admired advocacy journalists Molly Ivins and Hunter S Thompson,[12] and attended the University of Texas at Austin from 1995 through 1999, graduating with a BA in philosophy.[1]


From 1998 to 2001, Barnett was a senior news editor and columnist for The Austin Chronicle, and then spent two years at the Seattle Weekly before moving to The Stranger, where she served as a staff writer until 2009.[13][14] While there, she received a Civic Award from the Municipal League of King County for best government affairs reporting.[15][16] The Seattle Post-Intelligencer praised her efforts to document the connection between Washington State House Speaker Frank Chopp and the Building Industry Association of Washington during the 2008 Washington gubernatorial election.[17]

In 2011, Seattle Magazine named her one of Seattle's 'most influential people'.[7] In 2012, Barnett launched the news website PubliCola.com with her co-editor and co-owner Josh Feit.[18] She has also written for Crosscut.com and been featured on Seattle National Public Radio affiliate KUOW.[19] From April 2015 through April 2017 Barnett was Communications Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington.[20]

In February 2016 Barnett reported on the proceedings of online meetings held on Nextdoor.com by Seattle's police chief and other officials with Nextdoor.com users, describing an echo-chamber atmosphere, and what Seattle Mayor Ed Murray called "paranoid hysteria" about crime in well-off neighborhoods.[21] The social networking site responded by temporarily suspending Barnett's account, for violating their terms of service to keep user comments private, while Barnett said Washington's open meeting laws took precedence, requiring records of meetings with public officials like the police chief to be accessible to the public.[22][23][24] Barnett's reporting caused a wider debate on Nextdoor.com's role and led to city officials reevaluating its relationship with Nextdoor, as well as diminishing Nextdoor's goals of expanding its role with governments nationwide.[21][25][26][27]

While writing for TheAtlantic.com later in 2016, she erroneously accused Seattle radio's Ron & Don Show of encouraging listeners to harass a city council member after a contentious sports vote eliminating the possibility of a new sports arena.[28][29] The Atlantic retracted the story after it and Barnett were sued for defamation.[28][29]

In April 2018, Barnett obtained and reported on King County's draft homelessness plan.[2] In June 2019, Barnett broke the news of The Seattle Times reporter Mike Rosenberg's resignation over sexual harassment allegations.[3] In December 2018, Barnett was first to report that Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan's office had made a $720,000 no-bid consulting contract with a consulting firm to represent the city's interest in Sound Transit 3 negotiations.[30] In July 2019, Barnett was first to report a letter by Seattle's Human Services Director to administrators of programs funded by Seattle's soda tax that their funding could be cut.[31] In October 2019, Barnett was first to report the unexplained blocks of time in Seattle traffic consultant Mike Worden's calendar as City Council members were raising questions as to exactly what the Mayor was paying Worden to do.[4][32][33]

Her memoir was published by Viking in 2020.[34][35][36] The book analyzes the alcoholism recovery industry, including a critical attitude toward Alcoholics Anonymous, but Barnett partially credits its approach of "cognitive behavioral therapy in a very disorganized manner" for helping her to become sober, an "ex-drinker," in 2015.[37]


  • Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery (2020)[38]
  • Articles at The Stranger
  • Articles at Crosscut.com


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Office of the Registrar; Degrees and Dates of Attendance", University of Texas at Austin
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kelety, Josh (April 12, 2018), Critics say draft plan from county task force on homelessness underwhelms; One Table's first stab at recommendations leaves some members calling for a bolder, clearly financed plan.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fowler, Lilly (June 11, 2019), "Seattle Times reporter accused of sending explicit messages resigns", Crosscut.com
  4. 4.0 4.1 Groover, Heidi (October 9, 2019), "As some wonder what he does, retired general leading Seattle Squeeze response expected to leave post", The Seattle Times
  5. "Analyzing the primary results this week". www.kuow.org. 2019-08-09. Retrieved 2019-09-15.
  6. Bick, Carolyn (October 11, 2019), "The future of journalism rests in the hands of the people", South Seattle Emerald
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Seattle's Most Influential People of 2011". Seattle Magazine. October 17, 2011.
  8. Smith, Rich (October 4, 2019), "What Happens After Local Print Media Dies?", The Stranger
  9. Goldstein-Street, Jake (October 10, 2019), "Panel tackles the death of local journalism", The Daily
  10. "Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery", Publishers Weekly, 2020
  11. "Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery", Kirkus Reviews, 2020
  12. Barnett, Erica C. (April 11, 2018). "A journalist gets sober, then hits the bars". Sound Effect (Interview). Interviewed by Gabriel Spitzer. KNKX. Archived from the original on October 26, 2019. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  13. "Author Archives: Erica C. Barnett - The Austin Chronicle". www.austinchronicle.com.
  14. "2007 Civic Awards Recipients — Port of Seattle Press Release". web.archive.org. July 21, 2011.
  15. "Erica C. Barnett (and her Mad List of Sources) Joins PubliCola Staff". Seattle Met.
  16. Barnett, Erica C.; Drew, Nancy; Savage, Dan. "In Other News..." The Stranger.
  17. Connelly, Joel (June 10, 2008). "A special interest tarnishes governor's race". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  18. "Politics website PubliCola to return". The Seattle Times. June 18, 2012.
  19. O'Neil, Danny (May 25, 2016). "Acknowledging 'Atlantic' mistake is not an apology". MYNorthwest. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  20. LinkedIn profile and
  21. 21.0 21.1 Waddell, Kaveh (4 May 2016). "The Police Officer 'Nextdoor'". The Atlantic.
  22. Schlosser, Kurt (February 22, 2016). "Reporter's Nextdoor account suspended temporarily after she shares user comments from forum involving Seattle Police chief". GeekWire. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  23. Lee, Jessica (March 14, 2016). "Nextdoor flap has Seattle scrutinizing how it handles social media". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on October 26, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  24. Machkovech, Sam (February 20, 2016). "NextDoor boots reporter for reporting on police press conference". Ars Technica. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  25. "The Record: Thursday, Feb 25, Full Show". KUOW / NPR. 25 February 2016.
  26. Lee, Jessica (March 14, 2016), "Nextdoor flap has Seattle scrutinizing how it handles social media", Seattle Times
  27. Groover, Heidi (February 24, 2016), Mayor Ed Murray Says Some Nextdoor Users Have Been "Working Themselves Into a Paranoid Hysteria"
  28. 28.0 28.1 "'Atlantic' issues correction after accusing Ron and Don of verbally attacking council member". MYNorthwest. May 24, 2016. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Herzog, Katie (July 3, 2019). "After Defamation Suits and a Surprise Cancellation, Former KIRO Radio Hosts Ron and Don Launch a Podcast". The Stranger. Archived from the original on October 26, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  30. Lindblom, Mike (December 4, 2018), "Durkan grants longtime associate a $720,000 no-bid contract to steer Seattle's light-rail planning - Anne Fennessy, who has known Mayor Jenny Durkan for decades, will serve as the city's single point of contact for the third segment of light rail. Her husband is one of Durkan's deputies", The Seattle Times
  31. Goldstein-Street, Jake (July 22, 2019), "Defying Durkan, council directs extra soda tax money to low-income programs", Crosscut.com
  32. Lee, Jessica (March 14, 2016), "Nextdoor flap has Seattle scrutinizing how it handles social media", Seattle Times
  33. Nickelsburg on, Monica (March 1, 2016), "The rise of Nextdoor in Seattle: Neighborhood social network sparks community and controversy in modern-day boomtown", Geekwire
  34. "On the Path to Recovery, One Step at a Time Is Easier Said Than Done". www.nytimes.com. 2020-07-07. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  35. "Seattle journalist Erica C. Barnett is hard at work on a memoir, by Paul Constant". www.seattlereviewofbooks.com. 2017-06-29. Retrieved 2019-09-15.
  36. Barnett, Erica (2020). Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery. Viking. ISBN 9780525522324. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  37. By the Sound episode 15: Meet Erica C Barnett, 29 May 2020
  38. "Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery By Erica C. Barnett", Penguin Random House, 2020


External links[edit]

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