The hometown feeling came through almost right away during the first meeting of the NC Local News Workshop’s new First-Year Advisory Board — 26 people from journalism, communications, education, libraries, history, public affairs, and more, who care about local news as a civic asset, in part because it matters to the places they hold dear.
Hope Mills. Durham. Wilmington. Northeastern NC. Many of our board’s members grew up in North Carolina, and their passion and concern about the loss of local reporting and its impact came through in their comments, even through our Zoom screens.
Hendersonville, southeastern NC, the Triad. As they introduced themselves, board members spoke passionately about the importance of strong local news, and the need for new thinking to sustain it.
Some focused on gaps in information for people whose dominant language is Spanish; others focused on a new generation of young people who don’t connect to hews in the same ways as their parents.
Our board, listed below and in more detail, includes not just accomplished journalists and news leaders, but also others who play key roles in supporting community information, truth-telling, and civic connection.
We’re honored to welcome this group as individual and collective wisdom for our efforts to build systemic support for high-quality local news in North Carolina.
First-Year Advisory Board
Erica Allison, CEO/OWner, Formation PR + Brand, Hendersonville
Robert G. Anthony Jr., Curator of the North Carolina Collection and director of DigitalNC, UNC-Chapel Hill
Leslie Boney, NCSU Vice Provost for Outreach and Engagement and Director of the Institute for Emerging Issues
Vanessa Bravo, Chair and Associate professor of Strategic Communications, Elon University School of Communications
Paul Cuadros, Associate professor, UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and Chair and Executive Director of the Latino Scholars initiative
Seth Ervin, Chief Innovation Officer, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
Lariza Garzôn, Executive Director, Episcopal Farmworker Ministry
Lizzy Hazeltine, Fund Coordinator, NC Local News Lab Fund (ex officio)
Cierra Hinton, Co-Director of Strategy and Operations, Press On; Executive Director/ Publisher, Scalawag
Deborah Holt-Noel, Host, UNC-TV’s Black issues Forum and NC Weekend
Tamara Jeffries, Associate professor and Chair of Journalism & Mass Media, Bennett College
Ju-Don Marshall, Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President, WFAE
Fiona Morgan, Journalist, researcher, and consultant, Branchhead Consulting; former journalism director, Free Press
Philip Napoli, Professor of public policy and Associate Dean, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University
Nick Ochsner, Investigative Executive Producer, WBTV
Orage Quarles III, Board Chairman, McClatchy Journalism Institute, Freedom Forum board member, retired longtime newspaper publisher
Fran Scarlett, Chief Knowledge Officer, Institute for Nonprofit News
Michael Schoenfeld, VP for Public Affairs and Government Relations, Chief Communication Officer, Duke University
Sarah Sloan, Producer and independent journalist, Working Narratives and Shoresides
Monique Smalls, Communications Director, LabCorp
David Squires, Journalism lecturer, NC A&T State University, contributing writer for ESPN’s The Undefeated
Pat Stith, retired Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist, The News & Observer
Ryan Thornburg, Associate professor, UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media
Robyn Tomlin, President and Editor, The N&O/Herald-Sun, Southeast Regional Editor, McClatchy
Keven Zepezauer, President, CEO and Publisher, Restoration News Media and The Wilson Times
Karin Zipf, Professor of history, East Carolina University