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Executive Director’s note: This week, we’re taking you behind the scenes of a special Carolina Public Press project, NC Connection: Closing the News Gap. We’ve launched an expansive, data-driven research project to determine what the news gaps are in rural communities where high-speed internet is currently expensive, inaccessible or simply not available. Plus, we want to know how these communities want to get their news and information when hopping online simply isn’t an option.


In November 2021, Carolina Public Press was awarded a share of more than $3.2 million, part of the third GNI North America Innovation Challenge to help address the need for research in local news. The nonprofit newsroom built the NC Connection: Closing the News Gap project to address this need. 

A primary research method in the project is using surveys, offered in both English and Spanish. Results are beginning to come in, and we are excited to begin analyzing this data. We’re using flyers, social media, group meetings, focus groups and other outreach methods with our partners across the state to spread the word about the project.

How you can add your input, help spread the word

We’d like even more input from across the state so we can be as representative as possible of North Carolina’s rural communities. There are lots of ways you can participate and help spread the word.

We already know that word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to spread the message. We ask that you share this information widely with as many people in your networks as possible. 

To help, you’ll find, below, some downloadable files that you may include in communications with your communities and/or print out to share with individuals and organizations that may be interested in participating.

We can also make ourselves available to speak either in person or via Zoom to community members. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Rural Engagement Manager Lindsey Wilson

Want to talk about the project? Here are some tips.

We need you to spread the word about our project and its goals. To help you pass information about it on to friends, family and colleagues, we’ve created this short list of talking points:

  1. COVID-19 highlighted how hard it is for people in rural areas and other underserved communities to get critical news and information quickly. We need even more robust local journalism that is free, accessible, reliable and high quality.
  2. This project asks how people in rural North Carolina get their news, what kind of news they need and how news outlets such as Carolina Public Press can help fulfill these needs.
  3. The research that Carolina Public Press is doing will be analyzed to learn about news needs and how people want to get the news quickly. Individual responses are private. You can win gift cards for participating. They’ll use the information to get even more information into the community and share it with others who can help, too.

We also have a lot of printable and/or sharable images and resources for you, from flyers you can print and post to social media messages. They’re available in English and Spanish.

Also, you can spread the word or participate in a special focus group at Marianna Black Library in Bryson City on Tuesday, Aug. 9, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Participation is limited to 15 people, and lunch and child care will be provided. Sign up here, text FOCUS GROUP to 866-716-1266 or scan the code on the flyer below.

Visit NC Connection: Closing the News Gap

Find all the project information in one place.

Flyers

We’ve created flyers, in English and Spanish, that include the survey web address and a scannable QR code. Please feel free to download these materials (click on the images to download) and share them widely among your personal and professional networks.

English

Click to download a PDF of this flyer.

Spanish

Click to download a PDF of this flyer.
Social Media Posts

Here are a few social media images to use on your own networks and to share with your personal and professional networks. Click on the images to download.

Social media posts in Spanish

Click image to download social post.
Click image to download social post.
Click image to download social post.

Social media posts in English

Click image to download social post.
Click image to download social post.
Click image to download social post.
Focus Group in Swain County Informational Flyer (Aug. 9, 2022)
Click the image to download the flyer.

What’s most important? Share the survey!

Since we’d like more participation from across the state to be as representative as possible of North Carolina’s rural communities, we also need your help to spread the word about the survey

It can be delivered to you by email or text, is available in both English and Spanish, and you can take it in under 10 minutes. Share this link or tell people to text the word survey to 866-716-1266 to get started. We ask that you share this information widely with as many people in your networks as possible. 

Reach out to us

Do you have questions? Want to invite us to your church, organization meeting, workplace, library or other location to talk about this project? We can make ourselves available to speak either in person or via Zoom to community members across the state. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Rural Engagement Manager Lindsey Wilson to get started.

Staff Reports

This release, story or event was developed through multiple sources and/or is from the staff of Carolina Public Press.