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After more than a decade of work to found and further the mission and values of Carolina Public Press, Angie Newsome has announced that she will step down from her role as executive director by late summer or early fall of 2022.
During her tenure, Newsome has been the driving force behind the growth and success of Carolina Public Press, from its beginnings at her home in Asheville, then covering only news in Western North Carolina, to its statewide expansion in 2017.
An innovative growth model
Under Newsome’s leadership, Carolina Public Press has become the only wholly independent statewide investigative news organization. And since it began in March 2011, Carolina Public Press has worked to fight news deserts, produce nonpartisan investigative and public service journalism that would have otherwise gone undone, and has earned national recognition for its journalism and its local, statewide and national impact. Under her role as executive director, the organization has accomplished the following and more:
- Earned first place in investigative reporting or general excellence from the N.C. Press Association for four years in a row;
- Raised more than $2 million to support its work in investigative and public service journalism for North Carolina, including, with the support of local donors, establishing an endowment held at the N.C. Community Foundation; a philanthropy program supported by hundreds of sustaining members and major donors; and revenue-generating programming that includes consulting and sponsorship;
- Created and nurtured successful collaborative partnerships with local, regional and national news organizations, including content-sharing programs that have resulted in thousands of content shares across the state;
- Expanded from a Western North Carolina-focused news organization to one that covers all 100 N.C. counties;
- Created an Eastern North Carolina news bureau based in Fayetteville;
- Developed innovative and entrepreneurial programming that includes data research on rural news needs and robust collaborative journalism alliances that resulted in local and state policy changes;
- Increased Carolina Public Press staff from one person to a team of 10, including an additional cohort of freelancers, distributed across the state; and
- Mounted more than 50 live and virtual events tied to the organization’s journalism and mission in locations throughout North Carolina.
Newsome’s vision and leadership will be greatly missed by the Carolina Public Press staff, board of directors, the organization’s nonprofit and media partners and its loyal members and audiences. The decision to step down from the organization was hers alone, made with the input and support of her husband and daughters.
“It is bittersweet as we begin the transition to new leadership at Carolina Public Press,” said Scott Barnwell, the chair of the Carolina Public Press board of directors. “Angie Newsome, our founder and executive director, has built an impactful, independent, nonprofit, investigative news organization that serves the people of North Carolina. Our board of directors is incredibly grateful for Angie’s visionary leadership. We are equally excited for the possibilities that this transition offers as we begin our search for our next leader. There is a bright future for independent journalism in North Carolina with CPP leading the way.”
Over the next several months, the board will work with Newsome to conduct a thorough search to find the next Carolina Public Press Executive Director. It is our priority to find a dynamic leader who is passionate about the mission and who believes in and will champion our core values:
- Quality, ethical and nonpartisan journalism that puts public service first;
- A dedication to fighting for and seeking out public information, public data and open courts including, when necessary, pressing legal challenges to obtain that information;
- A willingness to ask hard questions of those in power;
- Making supporting the journalism and journalists who produce investigative, accountability and explanatory journalism a top priority;
- A collaborative spirit, both internally through cross-team efforts and externally through local, statewide and national collaborations that we join or lead;
- Seeking and implementing best practices for digital-first nonprofit news organizations;
- A belief that every North Carolinian deserves access to high-quality, trustworthy and context-rich journalism, especially those people and issues that have been overlooked or underrepresented in traditional media;
- Championing investigative and accountability journalism and understanding the work, time, dedication and risk it takes;
- Focus on impact, reach and sustainability; and
- A dedication to the future of North Carolina.
“It’s an understatement to say that I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have worked on founding and growing Carolina Public Press over the past 12 years,” Newsome said. “The team at Carolina Public Press is made up of some of the absolute best journalists and nonprofit professionals in North Carolina. And our board of directors exemplifies our core values and vision for the state and are very committed to the organization’s sustainability and success. Deciding to step away was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I am grateful that it isn’t prompted by a crisis. Rather, I know that now is the time to open CPP’s door to a new strong, visionary leader to take the organization to the next step. Working on and for CPP has been an incredible privilege, and I thank everyone who has supported me, personally, and the organization along the way.”
Newsome has committed to being an advisor to the organization and the new executive director during the transition in order to make it as smooth and steadfast as possible.
For more information about the position, search and candidate qualifications, please visit our website.
~Scott Barnwell, Chair, Carolina Public Press Board of Directors