Hope.

Check out the full NC Local newsletter from Dec. 29 for more on this story and the latest updates about journalists and news organizations throughout the state, job opportunities and more. Sign up to get NC Local in your inbox every Wednesday.

By Eric Frederick, NC Local Newsletter Editor

People ask me all the time why I write this newsletter — why I’m not out playing golf somewhere. My reply often begins with, “Have you seen my swing?” 

But a better answer comes, paradoxically, in moments of despair over the state of our world. 

In a profession where we’ve spent centuries telling ourselves that we are the best custodians of a free and fair society — and in so many ways, we have been — we’ve also frittered a trove of time being formulaic, ruthlessly competitive, smug, exclusive, blind to people’s real needs … and deep in the service of privilege.

Read moreHope.

Let’s meet at the summit

Check out the full NC Local newsletter from Dec. 15 for more on this story and the latest updates about journalists and news organizations throughout the state, job opportunities and more. Sign up to get NC Local in your inbox every Wednesday.

NC News and Information Summit flyer

Greetings NC Local readers:

As you start using your 2022 calendars and planners—and get used to writing ’22 instead of ’21—there’s one date we’d like you to save: March 17, 2022.

Yes, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, but it will also be the date of our 2022 NC News & Information Summit at Elon University. The summit will convene news and information leaders, journalists, researchers, educators, community members and others to discuss important issues facing local news in North Carolina, just as the virtual NC Local News Summit did in January. 

Read moreLet’s meet at the summit

The ’Dog is having its day

Check out the full NC Local newsletter from Dec. 8 for more on this story and more from the NC Local News Workshop. Plus, learn why PolitiFact Founder Bill Adair says he has always been “intrigued by liars,” get the latest updates about journalists and news organizations throughout the state, the latest job opportunities and more. Sign up to get NC Local in your inbox every Wednesday.

By Eric Frederick, NC Local Newsletter Editor

It’s a season of some joy at Asheville Watchdog, the free, nonprofit news organization founded last year by some lifelong journalists and media executives who can’t quite figure out what it means when they hand you the golf clubs.

AVL Watchdog graphicIn case you missed it, Jim Morrill in The Assembly last month told the story of the Watchdog and its all-volunteer staff of acclaimed journalists who can’t stop digging into the people’s business. But I was curious about what was new since then, and there’s plenty, publisher Bob Gremillion told me.

◼️ A paid reporter: The staff will have its first full-time paid employee next June. Report for America announced this morning that it had approved the Watchdog’s bid to be a host newsroom, and will place an RFA corps member there for two years to report on topics related to Asheville’s and Buncombe County’s plans for reparations to Black communities. (Read on for other NC newsrooms joining Report for America.)

The Watchdog, Gremillion told me, has already raised the money to pay its part of that reporter’s salary — up to half of which is picked up by RFA in the first year.

“It’s feeling very real all of a sudden,” he said.

Read moreThe ’Dog is having its day

As journalism evolves, J-schools must

Check out the full NC Local newsletter from Dec. 1 for more on this story, details about the newest COVID-19 variant, accolades for journalists across the state and more. Sign up to get NC Local in your inbox every Wednesday.

By Nation Hahn, Director of Growth for EdNC.org

Hello, everyone.

NationHahnNation Hahn here. For those I haven’t met, I am the director of growth for EdNC.org — a nonprofit newsroom focused on the entire educational continuum from birth to career. I participated in EdNC from the beginning as a consultant, joining the organization full-time in 2015. I also serve the journalism industry as a coach in the American Press Institute’s Mid-Major Table Stakes program, among other roles. In the past, I co-founded EdNC’s Reach NC Voices engagement platform, consulted on engaged journalism efforts across the country, and participated in the 2019 Media Transformation Challenge.

I also did not attend journalism school. This fact may, or may not, surprise you given that I would like to spend a moment considering the future of journalism school.

Part of the search for a new dean for the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media includes key stakeholders having conversations around who might be the choice. That topic is beyond my pay grade, but I am deeply interested in the future of the school — and other journalism schools across North Carolina and the country. 

Read moreAs journalism evolves, J-schools must