Meet the Workshop’s New Staff

Check out the full NC Local newsletter from Feb. 23 for more from the NC Local News Workshop, including the latest updates on the NC News & Information SummitSign up to get NC Local in your inbox every Wednesday.

By Shannan Bowen, Executive Director

The NC Local News Workshop’s team is growing!

Gabriela Rivas-De LeonPlease welcome our spring intern, Gabriela Rivas-De Leon, a journalism major at Elon University’s School of Communications. Gabriela hopes to use her journalism and sociology degree to combine her passions for community storytelling, social justice, and writing for the greater good. In her spare time, she is the co-creator of the podcast “Flying By the Seat of Our Pants” and is a tour guide for Elon Admissions. She also enjoys volunteering for sustainable organizations.

Gabriela will help the Workshop plan events, build a membership network, and use social media to connect people to the work and initiatives that are important to our news and information ecosystem. You may see her name from time to time, and she might even guest-write an upcoming edition of this newsletter.

Welcome, Gabriela!

Kicking off our WNC Community Listening Effort

Brenda MurphreeWe also welcomed our Western NC Research and Community Listening Fellow this month. Brenda Murphree brings years of experience in communications and community organizing to this role. Brenda, a Mississippi native who made Asheville her home nearly 30 years ago, founded an Asheville-based marketing agency in 2001 and has led award-winning creative work for businesses and organizations from Highlands to Hanoi.

Read moreMeet the Workshop’s New Staff

Spreadin’ a little esse quam videri

Check out the full NC Local newsletter from Feb. 16 for more from the NC Local News Workshop, to register for the upcoming NC News & Information Summit, for more about the new North Carolina Tribune, the latest updates about journalists and news organizations from 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

When Asheville Watchdog launched, it was a distinctive player in the news startup landscape — a gathering of distinguished, “retired” journalists and media leaders, working for free.

Almost two years in, I think it now has a new distinction: It’s a success that’s nearly impossible to replicate — though not without producing some examples to follow. 

Lauren Harris for CJR took its story national last week, talking to three of the volunteers who make the Watchdog work — publisher Bob Gremillion, reporter/editor Peter Lewis and investigative reporter Sally Kestin — for her Journalism Crisis Project report. It seems Harris found the same thing my friend Jim Morrill saw when he wrote about Asheville Watchdog for The Assembly back in November, and what I learned more about in a chat with Gremillion in December — a noble and necessary enterprise, doing what it does quite well, but facing the challenges you’d expect if you do hard, local accountability journalism, and provide it free, while also trying to raise local money to keep it breathing. With an unpaid staff. So, not a model you’ll see copied everywhere. 

Read moreSpreadin’ a little esse quam videri

News on the Summit

Check out the full NC Local newsletter from Feb. 9 for more from the NC Local News Workshop, to learn the results of the Rivalry Challenge fundraiser, for a list of helpful self-care resources, 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 Shannan Bowen, Executive Director

Registration will open by noon Friday for the NC News & Information Summit, which will be held during Sunshine Week, Thursday, March 17, at Elon University. We are in the process of planning an engaging agenda that will address core themes of transparency; access to news; diversity, equity and inclusion; sustainability; and community engagement.

Here’s a preview of just a few of our confirmed sessions:

  • Recruiting and Retaining Journalists of Color
  • Best Practices for Federal FOIA Requests
  • Money in Politics: How Campaign Finance Will Shape the 2022 Election
  • The Care and Feeding of Early-Career Journalists
  • Brainstorming Product and Project-Based Collaborations

At this time, we are planning for an in-person Summit on Thursday, March 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a reception. Those who will need overnight accommodations can book a discounted room at the on-campus Inn at Elon by using our dedicated reservation webpage and associated group code.

Read moreNews on the Summit

Nothing’s riding on this, except…

Check out the full NC Local newsletter from Feb. 2 for more 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 a member in shameful standing of a big club of abject failures.

The inductees have all directed political coverage in an election year, starting with a dream: We’re going to smash the mold, flip off the strategists and flacks, ignore the horse race and center the voters and their needs in every single thing we report. The dream dies by degrees — in meaningless daily dissection of the latest crazy tweet, in breathless reporting of the latest poll numbers, in recitation of the results and “deep” next-day analysis of what it all means for one political party or the other.

The excuses are many. So are the consequences, because what we’re doing is ceding a very big responsibility.

If what we need is the realization that something truly momentous is at stake — like, say, the privilege of living in, and continuing to build, a society that’s more just and equitable, where everyone’s voice has power — well, it’s here.

Read moreNothing’s riding on this, except…