Meg Kinnard Hardee, better known to her readers as "Meg Kinnard," (ken-ARD) is a national politics reporter for The Associated Press. Meg lives in South Carolina and focuses the bulk of her attention on the politics of the U.S. South for AP's Washington, D.C. bureau. She also covers breaking-national news and the 2024 Republican GOP primary. Having lived in the first-in-the-South primary state of South Carolina for nearly two decades gives her significant insight into the primary process, and the intricacies of the Palmetto State.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, she grew up in a political family and received a BSFS in International Politics with a concentration in International Security Studies, from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in D.C.
As the only grandchild of longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Jones, Meg gained early political exposure by spending much time with her grandparents in Washington, as well as on the campaign trail in West Tennessee.
As a high school and college student, she interned for the Tennessee Republican Party, served as a House Page for Democratic U.S. Rep. John Tanner, and interned for the United States House of Representatives Committee for Government Reform.
More interested in the political process than political ideology, Meg joined the Georgetown University College Democrats and College Republicans simultaneously. This diverse political exposure would prove helpful when her desire to work for the CIA was altered after joining the staff of the Georgetown Independent - a decision that changed her career plans.
After an internship with The Washington Post, Meg worked as an assistant editor at National Journal. A chance conversation at a bar in Columbia, South Carolina, led to a career with The Associated Press, where she's in her 18th year at what she considers the greatest news organization in the world. In 2008, she was awarded AP staffer of the year. In 2022, she received an Oliver S. Gramling Award - AP's highest internal honor.
Meg is an unabashed old-school, objective reporter, though she appreciates and understands that this is not the only way to do journalism. This hasn't prevented her from keeping up with current journalistic trends, however. In 2018, she returned to college and received a master's degree in digital communication from UNC-Chapel Hill, writing her thesis on the effects of how a journalist's use of social media can alter people's perception of their news coverage.
In 2021, Meg was diagnosed with Stage IIIc inflammatory breast cancer, one of the rarest and most aggressive forms of breast cancer, that was discovered only after a series of misdiagnoses at a local health care facility. Determined to live, Meg sought a second opinion at a world-renowned cancer facility. Through their expert care and knowledge, her faith, the support of her family, friends and complete strangers, and her sheer determination, she now has no evidence of cancer. Because of this, Meg is a fierce cheerleader for self-advocacy and second opinions.
Meg and her husband have three children, and plan to remain in South Carolina for the rest of their lives.