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.
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.
But this year we’re trying something new. The NC Local News Workshop is partnering with the NC Open Government Coalition, also based at Elon, to explore shared concerns around access to news and information, sustainability and community needs in journalism, and government transparency. With so many topics to discuss and work on, it made sense to combine our events this year to make progress toward a shared vision for NC’s news and information ecosystem.
To that point, one thing we want to make clear is that this will be your Summit. Don’t expect a full day of panels and speakers lecturing to a passive audience. Come prepared to engage and collaborate. We’re working on a participatory, interactive and inclusive event that will feature hands-on workshops, facilitated conversations and presentations that seek to involve everyone in the room. We will also source ideas for sessions from the communities we serve.
We’ve hired OpenNews to help us design the Summit to ensure we create and foster this kind of environment. OpenNews seeks to build a more equitable future for journalism by hosting interactive events and programs, such as SRCCON, convening people to share knowledge and tackle complex problems. In fact, their mission is very much aligned with the Workshop’s mission to connect, convene and build capacity for local news in North Carolina and the NCOGC’s mission to improve North Carolinians’ access to information.
While we remain optimistic that we can safely hold this event on Elon’s campus in the spring, we will also have a contingency plan for a virtual event. Elon University is centrally located in our state, and we’ll also have blocks of rooms available at the Inn at Elon for anyone traveling.
Sign up for future Summit updates and announcements, including registration details and how you can submit ideas for sessions, through our interest form here. We’ll continue to include updates in this newsletter, but signing up via our interest form will help us learn more about you and about topics of interest that we should consider as we plan this event.
As always, we are grateful for your partnership, engagement and collaboration with both the NC Local News Workshop and the NC Open Government Coalition. We look forward to seeing you in the new year!
Shannan Bowen (executive director, NC Local News Workshop)
Brooks Fuller (executive director, NC Open Government Coalition)