News deserts in North Carolina
A screenshot of news desert information about North Carolina, from, a research and information site from Penny Abernathy and the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at UNC Chapel Hill.

Celebrating 10 years of investigative and public interest journalism in North Carolina, Carolina Public Press this week kicked off Ten for NC, a series of free, virtual conversations, with a discussion about NC news deserts and ghost newspapers.

Penny Abernathy, visiting professor at Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, and CPP Executive Director Angie Newsome discussed threats NC news deserts and ghost newspapers pose to communities and democracy, and whether nonprofit journalism has and can make a change in the state.

A former executive at The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and the former Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina, Abernathy has more than 30 years of experience as a reporter, editor and senior media business executive. She has extensively researched and spoken on the rise of news deserts and ghost papers and the threat it poses to democracy.

The video of the event is below.

YouTube video

More events coming up

This was the first in 10 free virtual discussions planned for the year, which will feature members of the CPP team and Speakers Bureau and guests in a conversation about many important issues facing North Carolina. A Q&A session follows the conversation allowing the audience a chance to participate. All sessions will be recorded and published on Subscribe to CPP’s newsletters to receive invitations and details about the event.

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Newsome also has announced that the organization is working to grow into the state’s largest wholly independent nonprofit news organization devoted to investigative and public service journalism.

Among its plans, Newsome said, are strategies to raise $1.8 million in operating capital a year and a $1 million endowment that will go toward supporting a news team of nearly a dozen journalists working across the state. That includes investigative reporters and a team in Raleigh covering the NC General Assembly.

“We believe every North Carolinian — in every neighborhood — deserves access to nonpartisan investigative and public service news they can trust, and that many, many people have stories that need to be told and issues that need to be investigated,” Newsome said. “It’s vital to our democracy. We’ve proven we can do it — and that our reporting matters. We’re just getting started.”

Learn more about Carolina Public Press and its ten year history in North Carolina. 

Watch a short video celebrating our anniversary. 

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