Channing Barker

Every moment put to good use

Posted: January 7, 2018 at 1 a.m.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/BEN GOFF @NWABENGOFF "Channing has a strong sense of fairness, equality and justice. Whether it is access to health care, education or advancing research, Channing's empathy and servant's heart motivates her involvement in the community." -- Lauren Marquette

If you make a date to interview former KNWA reporter Channing Barker, it may go a little like this: She might pick the place, and, if she does, she might pick a new, independent coffee shop in Benton County -- Bolder Coffee -- that she has been frequenting lately. She takes her new job as the communications director for Benton County seriously and is eager to highlight the things that she thinks make the area special. She might bring flowers to the interview, a kind gesture you've never experienced before as an interviewer, and when you're transcribing the recording of the interview, you might be mortified to discover that the first 20 minutes of the conversation were spent talking about yourself. She can't help but pepper new people she meets with questions about themselves -- a holdover from her reporter days, perhaps, but, more likely, just a product of her genuine interest in the human beings around her.

Through Other’s Eyes

“I remember when she was diagnosed [with MS], thinking, ‘I would do anything in the world to trade places with her.’ To this day I still say that, but she’s handled it with so much grace and a good positive outlook on life. She’s always kind of had that kind of personality — she just has this glow about her.” — Madalyn Wiseman

“I love how she throws her whole heart into everything that she does. She treats everyone the same no matter who they are and that is the mark of a genuine soul. Channing has a great sense of humor and always has a kind word and a smile for anyone and everyone she meets. No matter what is going on in her life, she always makes a point to always care and inquire about what is going on in my life. She makes all of us better people simply by being her friend.” — Lauren Marquette

“She’s lifted up by other people’s strength, and I’m lifted up, and other people are lifted up, by her strength.” —Tyler Clark

“Channing’s love for other people stems from a deep faith she has in her Creator. I think she thinks that her biggest mission in life is to really love other people — and she’s constantly making good on that mission. She is very intentional about looking for the best side of people, in being vulnerable, open and brave about her story.” — Meg Bourne

Next Week

Cindy Arsaga


NWA Democrat-Gazette/BEN GOFF • @NWABENGOFF "She's an amazing person. She just has a light about her -- she shines so well and so bright, and sh...

This story is only available from our archives.