Sigrid Bathen is a Sacramento journalist who was a staff writer for the Sacramento Bee for 13 years and has written for numerous publications, including the California Journal, an award-winning magazine about politics and government, where she was senior editor. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Capitol Weekly, California Lawyer, the American Lawyer Newspapers, California Medicine, California Republic, the Sacramento Business Journal, Comstock’s Magazine, the Sacramento (and Chico) News & Review and Sacramento Magazine, where she was co-managing editor and senior writer. She is a contributing writer for online health-care media published by the California Health Care Foundation. She has been an adjunct professor of journalism and communications at California State University, Sacramento, since 1988.
She has served as the communications director for three state agencies. From 1999-2005, she was Media Director for the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the state agency which regulates campaign finance disclosure and the personal financial interests of public officials and lobbyists. She was Press Secretary to California Superintendent of Public Instruction Wilson Riles from 1981‑83 and to Attorney General John K. Van de Kamp from 1983‑87. At CSUS, she has taught a wide range of courses in basic and advanced news writing, editing and ethics, magazine writing, public affairs reporting, column and review writing, women in media, mass media and critical thinking, and public relations writing, strategy and management. She has also taught journalism at California State University, Chico, in the Los Rios Community College District and served as a mentor-editor in the Public Affairs Journalism Program at the UC Center-Sacramento.
She has conducted seminars for business and community organizations and government agencies and advised business and community leaders on media strategy. She served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Press Club (2008-2011) and is a member of the Scholarship Committee. She also served on the Board of Directors of the State Information Officers Council (SIOC), the statewide organization of public information and public relations professionals in California state government, was a member of the scholarship committee, and coordinated the annual statewide SIOC awards program in 2007 as Awards Chair. In 2013, she was honored by the Press Club with a scholarship in her name. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Sacramento State and Chico State Alumni Associations.
Her writing has won many awards: the Berton J. Ballard Press‑Bar Award for Distinguished Reporting on the Administration of Justice from the State Bar of California, the Catherine L. O’Brien Award for women’s interest reporting – both for a series of articles on juvenile crime published in the Sacramento Bee – and awards for Commentary and Enterprise Reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, for articles and columns in several publications on politics, lobbying, crime and children’s issues, published in several publications. She twice received national awards from the National Mental Health Association (in 1977 and 1997) and from the California Mental Health Association, for “outstanding contributions to public understanding of mental health,” for articles in the Sacramento Bee and the California Journal. She was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her Bee coverage of conditions in Stockton State Hospital. She received the 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award from the State Information Officers Council and was named “Best State Agency Spokesperson” in 2004 by the Sacramento News & Review, in its annual “Best of Sacramento” issue. She was the first chair and co-founder of the Women’s Caucus of the Sacramento Newspaper Guild and was the first president of Sacramento Women in the Media.
She received her B.A. in journalism cum laude from CSU, Chico, and her M.A. in English and journalism from CSU, Sacramento. Her Master’s thesis, “The Girls on the Bus,” about women political reporters, has been excerpted in several magazines and is available in the CSUS Library.