Carolina Public Press is pleased to announce that it has tripled its leadership team dedicated to providing nonpartisan, in-depth and investigative news built upon the facts and context North Carolinians need to know.

Joining Executive Director Angie Newsome and Managing Editor Frank Taylor are:

  • Stephanie Carson, News and Community Partnerships Manager;
  • Tara George, Administrator;
  • Kate Martin, Investigative Reporter; and
  • Kelly Shanafelt, Development Director.

A not-for-profit news organization, Carolina Public Press launched in 2011 to focus on the westernmost counties of North Carolina. It announced in February it was expanding statewide to be the go-to sustainable independent, in-depth and investigative news arm for North Carolina. In July, it announced its two-year transformation plan.

Stephanie Carson, News and Community Partnerships Manager
Stephanie Carson, News and Community Partnerships Manager

Carson has worked as a print, radio and television journalist for more than 20 years, including for outlets like CBS News, Bloomberg Financial Television and the Public News Service. The recipient of two Emmys and an Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Journalism, Carson attended the University of Georgia where she earned degrees in broadcast news and international politics. Additionally, Carson completed a fellowship at the Washington Center for Politics and Journalism and attended the The Poynter Institute. Carson will lead the organization’s statewide strategic partnership development with news and community organizations and lead community engagement efforts, including online and in-person events. Contact her at

Tara George, Administrator
Tara George, Administrator

George graduated with honors from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in applied design. A desire to be more involved and make a difference in the community brought her to the nonprofit sector, where she has worked in development, project and office management for organizations including Land of Sky Regional Council and OnTrack Financial Education and Counseling. Previously the organization’s bookkeeper and development assistant, George joins the leadership team in an expanded role that includes overseeing office systems and coordinating external events and donor relations. Contact her at

Kate Martin, Investigative Reporter
Kate Martin, Investigative Reporter

Martin has been a journalist for more than 15 years covering topics including education, government and business. She joins Carolina Public Press after five years at The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., where she reported on the police department’s use of mass cell phone surveillance equipment without explaining the devices to judges. In 2011, while working with the Skagit Valley Herald, she earned a Rural Computer Assisted Reporting fellowship with Investigative Reporters and Editors. Her work has led to the creation of three state laws and the resignation of three elected officials. Martin is the organization’s lead investigative reporter. Contact her at

Kelly Shanafelt, Development Director
Kelly Shanafelt, Development Director

Shanafelt has spent the last 18 years working as a fundraiser, consultant and director for nonprofits in North Carolina, including with Mountain Area Health Education Center, Warren Wilson College, Big Brothers Big Sisters and The Health Adventure. Most recently, she served as the executive director of the Friends of the WNC Nature Center and as a consultant with Sims & Steele. Shanafelt will lead the organization’s donor development, sponsorships and underwriting work across North Carolina. Contact her at

In addition to the growing leadership team, more than 12 experienced contributing reporters and photojournalists from across the state work to provide high-quality journalism with Carolina Public Press, including long-time reporter and Capital Bureau Chief Kirk Ross and lead contributing environmental reporter Jack Igelman.

“Our leadership team brings decades of journalism, administrative and nonprofit development experience all to strengthening Carolina Public Press’s in-depth and investigative reporting for North Carolina,” Newsome said. “Stephanie, Tara, Kate and Kelly are already inspiring and challenging the organization to grow and to do even more and even better journalism that matters.”

For general inquiries and more information, please call Carolina Public Press at (828) 774-5290 or email at

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