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Need a speaker, panelist, facilitator or moderator?

The Carolina Public Press Speakers Bureau

The Carolina Public Press team possesses experience and knowledge in a variety of areas including topical issues such as public lands, sexual assault and prisons; industry-specific topics related to nonprofit journalism, news-based community engagement, and investigative reporting; journalism-specific skill development; North Carolina issues and news ecosystem; and more. Members are available for virtual and in-person events, group meetings, conferences, panels and classes of all sizes and types. We also have experience in moderating panel discussions and debates, offering presentations and facilitating group meetings and listening sessions.

See below for available members, suggested topics and examples of appearances, panel presentations and more. Carolina Public Press is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit news organization and relies upon the support of individual donors, foundations and sponsors/underwriters to operate.

Suggested topics for Shelby Harris: 

  • What is the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) and how are communities and governments able to use relief funds?
  • Challenges and opportunities with reporting on local government

Selected publications and appearances

Shelby Harris

Government Reporter, Western North Carolina

Shelby Harris is a reporter covering Western North Carolina. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and strategic media from the University of Memphis and a bachelor’s in English from Mississippi College. Previously, she worked as a reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times where she covered breaking news and education, and The Daily Times in Maryville, Tenn. where she reported on local government. She lives in Buncombe County.

Jack Igelman

Lead Environment Reporter

Contributor Jack Igelman has covered top environmental issues for Carolina Public Press for nearly a decade, including the pending forest management plan from the U.S. Forest Service for many years, development, coastal health, and the connections between the environment and the economy.

Jack holds a graduate certificate from the UNC School of Media and Journalism, and he received the Best Feature Reporting and News Feature Writing Award from the North Carolina Press Association in 2018. Co-author of Trekking the Southern Appalachians and currently teaching college-level economics, Jack’s reporting has appeared in dozens of local, regional and national publications. He lives in Buncombe County.

Suggested topics for Jack Igelman:

  • Environmental issues in North Carolina, including climate change
  • Public lands: culture, economy and environment
  • Environment and the economy
  • Environmental journalism in North Carolina
  • Trends in the outdoors, including hiking and cycling

Selected publications and appearances:

Suggested topics for Angie Newsome:

  • Developing a news organization
  • Building a nonprofit
  • Government transparency and public records access
  • North Carolina news ecosystem
  • Civic and audience engagement
  • Collaborative journalism
  • Nonpartisan mission-driven journalism with impact
  • News entrepreneurship
  • Public service and investigative news and its role in democracy

Selected publications and appearances:

Angie Newsome

Founder and Executive Director

With nearly 20 years of experience in daily, online and magazine journalism in her native North Carolina, Angie Newsome has expertise in the evolution of media in the state, as well as the development of nonprofit media organizations like Carolina Public Press. Under her leadership, Carolina Public Press has grown from a one-person organization to a statewide force in nonpartisan in-depth and investigative journalism in the public interest.

In addition to leading Carolina Public Press, Angie is chair of the board of directors of the NC Open Government Coalition, a coalition of media groups, public information officers, attorneys, data professionals and others interested in open government and public transparency. She has won multiple recognitions, including a New Media Women Entrepreneurs award from J-Lab and the McCormick Foundation. She lives in Buncombe County.

Ben Sessoms

Government Reporter, Eastern North Carolina

Ben Sessoms covers local government in eastern North Carolina, primarily in Cumberland County and the surrounding region. Prior to joining Carolina Public Press, Ben covered housing and the COVID-19 pandemic for The News & Observer in Raleigh. He also covered education in Iredell County for the Statesville Record & Landmark. Ben is a 2019 alum of the News21 reporting fellowship at Arizona State University, where he covered long-term flood recovery in eastern North Carolina. He’s also a 2021 alum of Report for America. Born and raised in Kinston, Ben has deep ties to his coverage area of eastern North Carolina. He graduated from Appalachian State University in 2019 with degrees in journalism and communication studies.

Suggested topics for Ben Sessoms:

  • The importance of local government to democracy in communities
  • Navigating your local government meetings (City Council, commissioners, school boards, etc.) 
  • The importance and nuances of filing public records requests – for journalists and citizens

Selected publications and appearances:

Suggested topics for Lindsey Wilson:

  • Facilitating group listening sessions
  • Designing an outreach program 
  • Rural engagement methods
  • Connecting with rural audiences
  • The lack of reliable internet in rural N.C. and its effect on news consumption and community engagement

Projects and programs:

Lindsey Wilson

Rural Engagement Manager

Lindsey comes to Carolina Public Press with experience in a variety of experience as a community organizer, research facilitator and environmental educator. Her work on small-scale produce farms in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and North Carolina has given her a deep interest in issues facing rural people. Lindsey has a dual major in anthropology/sociology and creative writing from Kalamazoo College. She lives in Buncombe County.