A conversation with Antionette Kerr of Davidson Local

Check out the full NC Local newsletter from Jan. 26 for more news from the NC Local News Workshop, the latest updates about journalists and news organizations throughout North Carolina, job opportunities and more. Sign up to get NC Local in your inbox every Wednesday.

By Eric Frederick, NC Local Newsletter Editor

I recently got to chat with Antionette Kerr, co-founder with Kassaundra Lockhart of Davidson Local, a free, ad-supported, hyperlocal digital news site in Davidson County. 

Members of Davidson Local
Some of the Davidson Local crew, celebrating the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 Emerging Entrepreneur Small Business Award. Left to right: Business reporter Vikki Broughton Hodges, reporter Brooke Maners, co-founder Antionette Kerr, editor/reporter Ken Lack, and co-founder and Managing Editor Kassaundra Lockhart.

Davidson Local is a subsidiary of Bold & Bright Media, Kerr’s multimedia publishing company. The news site was launched in 2021 in partnership with Magic Mile Media, a Kinston-based marketing firm led by BJ Murphy that had launched another hyperlocal site in 2018, Neuse News, to cover Kinston and Lenoir County. Both sites provide local news and opinion, investigations and coverage of culture, education and health news.

Kerr worked for more than a decade in the nonprofit world before leaving to pursue writing and publishing as a career. She co-wrote a guide titled Modern Media Relations for Nonprofits and worked as The North Carolina/Tennessee producer for radio with The Public News Service. She’s a board member, director and consultant for multiple nonprofit agencies and has provided training through Women AdvaNCe, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The National Council of Nonprofits, Nonprofit Marketing Guide and The Nonprofit Academy. 

Read moreA conversation with Antionette Kerr of Davidson Local

Bridging gaps with a podcast

Check out the full NC Local newsletter from Jan. 19 for more on this story, news from the NC Local News Workshop, the latest updates about journalists and news organizations throughout North Carolina, job opportunities and more. Sign up to get NC Local in your inbox every Wednesday.

By Eric Frederick, NC Local Newsletter Editor

I’m an admirer of “Tested,” the news podcast produced since March 2020 by WUNC. In its timeliness, and in the way it gives stories from around the state a second life, it’s a worthy successor to “The State of Things,” the topical interview show that ended late last year after host Frank Stasio decided to hang up the mic.

Dave DeWitt
Dave DeWitt

But “Tested” is also different — and until I was chatting the other day with founding host Dave DeWitt, I didn’t truly appreciate how rare it is.

“We’re one of the few podcasts produced out of the news department on a public radio station,” said DeWitt, WUNC’s feature news editor, who came to the station 19 years ago and started on “The State of Things.”

Read moreBridging gaps with a podcast

An empowering new voice

Check out the full NC Local newsletter from Jan. 12 for more on this story, news from the NC Local News Workshop, the latest updates about journalists and news organizations throughout the Tar Heel State, job opportunities and more. Sign up to get NC Local in your inbox every Wednesday.

By Eric Frederick, NC Local Newsletter Editor

Alicia Benjamin had a vision — to give marginalized people the power to enhance their lives and change their communities, by offering them the most effective tool: information.

Alicia Benjamin
Alicia Benjamin

Her idea, which earned a place in the second annual Google News Initiative Startups Boot Camp last fall, now lives and breathes — a news outlet called The Charlotte Voice, which has launched on social media. 

Benjamin is also a mom, a freelance writer and the editor of Pride Magazine, a bimonthly business and lifestyle publication serving the Black community in Charlotte. Her new solo project is more basic, and more transformational.

Read moreAn empowering new voice

‘Take it into the town square’

Check out the full NC Local newsletter from Jan. 5 for more on this story, a tribute to Mary Alice Jervay Thatch, 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

A few days ago, I asked several leaders and influencers in North Carolina’s news and information community a question:

Where should we focus our energy in 2022?

Here are some of their insights:

Work together

CHRIS RUDISILL, director, Charlotte Journalism Collaborative; project manager, QnotesCarolinas:

Of course, I’d say that collaboration will continue to be key to North Carolina news in 2022, but more importantly, I think we’ll see unexpected collaborations really show what’s possible. How can local news and neighborhood associations tackle problems? How can artists help us tell stories? How can we move news from the social media framework that has disrupted trust and take it into the town square to create opportunities for community news sharing and creation? That’s what I’m excited to see more of in 2022.

Read more‘Take it into the town square’