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Press release from Carolina Public Press, shared Nov. 27:
The North Carolina Press Association recently admitted the nonprofit, online news service Carolina Public Press into its membership, making it the first online nonprofit news service in Western North Carolina to gain the distinction.
“We’re delighted to welcome the Carolina Public Press into the N.C. Press Association,” said Beth Grace, executive director of the 195-member newspaper advocacy organization founded in 1873. “An incisive, beautifully written web-based publication like this is exactly why NCPA created our new online membership just a year ago. Good journalism takes many forms, and this sort of partnership helps NCPA support the highest standards of good reporting and paves the way for the reading public to access great journalism – wherever it appears!”
Carolina Public Press launched in March 2011 and is a nonprofit online news service found at www.carolinapublicpress.org whose mission is to provide Western North Carolina with unbiased, in-depth and investigative reporting as well as educational opportunities to journalists, students and others. Its reporting focuses on public interest and investigative reporting, and it does not accept traditional advertising or government funding. Like many other nonprofit organizations, it is largely funded through tax-deductible private contributions and foundation support.
“We believe that public interest reporting is critical to an informed, engaged electorate and to ensuring government accountability,” said Angie Newsome, executive director and editor. “We formed Carolina Public Press to offer the region a fresh and vibrant source of in-depth and investigative news and training on key journalism topics, including accessing public information and open government. We’re pleased the Press Association has welcomed us into the organization so whole heartedly.”
Since its formation, the Carolina Public Press, which covers the 18 westernmost counties of the state, has posted more than 600 news stories and investigative reports, photo essays, data, public records and more to its free online news website, www.carolinapublicpress.org. It’s reporting has been shared with some of the state’s top local, regional and statewide media organizations, including The Charlotte Observer, Mountain Xpress, WLOS-TV, WCQS and many others.
It’s also held trainings for journalists, students and citizens on state and federal laws guiding access to public records. And, most recently, its investigative reporting into the Asheville Police Department’s still-undisclosed evidence-room audit led Carolina Public Press to form an Asheville-area media coalition to sue the city of Asheville and the Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office for the document’s release.
“We appreciate that the N.C. Press Association recognizes the value and importance of our news and organization,” said Allen Shaklan, president of the Carolina Public Press board of directors. “We look forward to continuing to build our network with the association’s membership and continuing to show that in-depth, investigative reporting is a vital service to the citizens of Western North Carolina.”
The organization is based in Asheville and covers the following counties: Avery, Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey. A sponsored project of the nonprofit media institute, The Institute for Southern Studies, Carolina Public Press is currently pursuing its own not-for-profit tax status. Contributions made to Carolina Public Press are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.