Passionate for Print: Meet Journalist Anna Oakes

Anna Oakes knows that her community responsibility is to report noble journalism. As the editor of the Watauga Democrat, she does just that.

Anna first made her mark in the High Country news when she joined the High Country Press in 2007. In 2012, Anna became a reporter for the Watauga Democrat. Four years later, Anna was moved up to editor of the Watauga Democrat and All About Women magazine of the High Country. “I take this job very seriously. I think this community deserves good journalism,” Anna said.

Originally from Caldwell County, Anna first attended UNC Greensboro right out of high school. Knowing UNCG wasn’t the right fit, Anna transferred to App State her sophomore year. Anna graduated from App State in 2006 with a degree in journalism and a minor in Spanish and political science. “I knew I had a talent for writing. I liked the idea of putting it to use for everybody,” Anna said.  

Soon after graduation, Anna moved to Raleigh, North Carolina to pursue her first reporter position at the Clayton News Star. “I really missed the mountains/ I was always thinking ‘I wonder what was going on in Boone,’” Anna said. Although she said Raleigh grew on her, just after one year in the Oak City, Anna made her way back up the mountain.

“The mountains just have this really strong hug on me,” Anna said. She soaks up the mountain atmosphere by hiking, camping, and going to the river.

Anna has recently found a new love for backpacking with her boyfriend. “It is pretty empowering,” Anna said. She is always up for finding new outdoor adventures in North Carolina.

When Anna isn’t searching for new story ideas and meeting deadlines, she enjoys spending time with her friends and gardening. Anna grows everything from spinach and kale to squash and green beans in her home garden in Meat Camp. Anna is also a member of the Boone Service League that is the High Country’s largest women’s service group.

When in-town, Anna loves fine dining at Proper, Vidalia, and the Cardinal.

Out of Anna’s 11 years of experience as a reporter, Anna wants people to walk away knowing that she is kindhearted. “I wouldn’t want people to think that I am not kind to them,” Anna said.

You can check out Anna’s work in the Watauga Democrat and All About Women magazine.