Mission and FAQs

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Our Mission:

Public interest reporting is critical to an informed, engaged electorate and to ensuring government accountability. Carolina Public Press, a nonprofit online news service, provides Western North Carolina with unbiased, in-depth and investigative reporting as well as educational opportunities to journalists, students and others.

Carolina Public Press is North Carolina’s first online nonprofit news organization to be devoted to original, enterprise-level, in-depth and investigative journalism in the public interest. It’s also the only news organization of its kind in the 18 westernmost counties of the state, and the only one in Western North Carolina to have credentialed journalists working in Raleigh as part of the Capitol Press Corps reporting on the N.C. General Assembly.

We are members of the N.C. Press Association and the Investigative News Network, and our work can be found at www.carolinapublicpress.org and through our content-sharing partners, which include some of the region and state’s top radio, TV and print media organizations.

We launched in 2011 as fiscally sponsored project of The Institute for Southern Studies. Carolina Public Press received its independent nonprofit 501(c)3 status from the Internal Revenue Service in April, 2014. View CPP’s nonprofit designation letter from the IRS [PDF].

Contributions to Carolina Public Press are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. You may find more about the financial supporters who make Carolina Public Press possible here. You may find our 2014 fiscal year budget, passed by Carolina Public Press’s board of directors in October 2013, here [PDF]. Please note that the budget does not reflect month-to-month operational changes, which are impacted by new contributions from individuals and foundations and by new projects and programs launched by Carolina Public Press.

In an era when legacy media organizations prefer entertainment over substance, Carolina Public Press produces unique and impactful public interest news in North Carolina’s rural Blue Ridge Mountains. And we believe this news shouldn’t be a luxury or afterthought, but freely and easily accessible to our entire community.

To do that we aim, every day, to offer high-quality news and information on everything from education and the environment to politics and housing. We also offer trainings for students, journalists and others on key reporting tools, like understanding and using public records and open government laws.

In short, we want the news in our region to be better, to ask harder questions and to go deeper. We want information to be open and transparent, not hidden.

We believe Western North Carolina needs an organization devoted to regional investigative and in-depth reporting, and we produce, publish and offer just that.


Frequently asked questions:

Who’s doing this?
Carolina Public Press is made up of a staff and a collection of contributing reporters and photographers who are some of the best and brightest journalists in the region and state. Some have shot photos for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Some have won awards for their investigative journalism. Some have written for small and large newspapers, conventional and independents alike. All are professionals, and we strive, every day, to uphold the Society of Professional Journalist’s Code of Ethics. The editors are responsible for the development of the site’s content. The Board of Directors helps set our strategic vision and plan for our financial health.

Staff and contributors

Board of Directors
Eleanor Ashton, Secretary
Lydia Carrington, Treasurer
Frank Goldsmith
Mark Goldstein
Calvin Hall
Mary Hall
David Hurand, Vice President
Janet Moore
Angie Newsome, Executive Director
Allen Shaklan, President

We also wish to thank the law firm of Brooks Pierce, a leading national media law practice based in Raleigh, N.C., for representing our First Amendment legal needs.

How are you funded?
Carolina Public Press is available for free through the generosity and vision of foundations, individuals, businesses and organizations that offer financial support to us. We are a nonprofit organizations, so donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

By the way, we’re a not-for-profit media project by design. The focus of our work is on reporting and high-quality journalism, not on selling advertising or keeping those advertisers satisfied. To make this happen, we rely on the support of those who believe in our mission and the importance of a public press dedicated to in-depth, investigative and independent reporting. We do not accept any traditional advertising.

So far, we’ve received foundation support from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, the McCormick Foundation’s New Media Women Entrepreneur program, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. Individuals and organizations also have made donations to Carolina Public Press.

Your donations mean that we’ll write another story, take another photo, start another investigation. We can always use your help. We hope you believe in the power of the public media, too.

Donate to Carolina Public Press

Do you accept advertising?
We accept donations or sponsorships from organizations and businesses that support our mission of producing and publishing high-quality reporting for and about Western North Carolina. We do not accept traditional advertising, nor do we publish editorials or endorse political candidates, businesses or organizations.

We greatly appreciate these businesses and organizations, but because we want to remain independent, fair and balanced, they — nor any other donor — have no influence over the content we publish or produce. The staff editors and contributors develop our content.

Our editorial policy goes into more detail.
Contact us for how your business or organization can help.

What area do you cover?
We strive to cover the 18 westernmost counties of North Carolina, from Marion to Murphy. Our coverage area roughly follows North Carolina’s 11th congressional district and portions of the 10th and 5th. We also cover state news that is important to residents of Western North Carolina.

How can I submit my press release/news tip/photographs to Carolina Public Press?
Here’s how.

How can I become a Carolina Public Press contributor or volunteer?
Contact us for writer’s and photographer’s guidelines or to pitch us a story. Volunteers are also worth their weight in gold. Contact the editor for how to help.

How can I become a Carolina Public Press intern?
We offer a variety of internship opportunities, including for reporters and photographers and those interested in social media and in becoming editorial assistants. Carolina Public Press is a highly efficient, fast-paced news organization. We’re online, but we aren’t bloggers or advocacy journalists. We are a new breed of media organization, one that’s received national, regional and local support for high-quality, unbiased in-depth and investigative reporting.

Our internships are individualized, not cookie-cutter, busy work in a corporate environment. Expect to have fun, to challenge and be challenged and to learn a ton in our fast-paced online nonprofit media project.

Based in Asheville, Carolina Public Press accepts interns from around Western North Carolina. Interns are encouraged, but not required, to live in Asheville during the duration of their internship.

Applicants must have access to a car, computer and other necessary equipment needed during their internship. Applicants are also encouraged to seek school credit for their Carolina Public Press internship; internships are generally unpaid, but approved expenses will be reimbursed.

More information — including deadlines and internship descriptions — may be found here.

I have an idea for a story. What do I do?
Contact us.

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