2022 NC Local News & Info Summit

An image from the 2022 NC News and Information Summit

The North Carolina Local News Workshop and the North Carolina Open Government Coalition co-hosted the 2022 NC News & Information Summit on Elon University’s campus on March 17, 2022. The daylong conference featured workshops, conversations and panels about news and transparency in North Carolina. The event coincided with Sunshine Week, a national initiative that promotes access to public information.

Below is an outline of the Summit’s events, including descriptions of the sessions. Want more content? Read the Summit program or check out this robust Flickr album.


First Session Block

Money in Politics: How Campaign Finance Will Shape the 2022 Election

Covering political finance is not just for data reporters or analysts. Learn how you can build campaign finance data practices into everyday political reporting at the local, state and federal levels, and how following the money can elevate stories from the usual horse race campaign grind.

Facilitators: Jeremy Borden, Travis Fain

Philanthropic Funding AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Philanthropy is increasingly seen as the critical third revenue stream for news organizations, but securing 
this support isn’t as clearcut as growing ad or subscription dollars. Have all your questions answered about 
the 3 F’s of Philanthropy: finding funding, framing grants, and fostering important relationships with funders.

Facilitator: Lizzy Hazeltine

The Care and Feeding of Early-Career Journalists

You can build operational resiliency in your organization by investing in people and policies. This session will discuss how newsrooms and managers can approach early-career journalists to set them up for success, not burnout. We’ll cover topics such as reasonable job descriptions; mentoring, editing and training; and belonging.

Facilitators: Erica Perel, Rhema Bland, Bill Horner III, Hannah McClellan

Second Session Block

Tapping Into Pro Bono Legal Help to Power Your Local Journalism

Empower yourself and your organization’s newsgathering as you tap into the range of pro bono legal resources from the new Protecting Journalists Pro Bono Program. Flavie Fuentes, Pro Bono Director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, will lead a workshop on finding solutions to address the range of situational legal challenges journalists often face.

Facilitators: Flavie Fuentes, Amelia Kennedy, Shannon Jankowski

Recruiting and Retaining Journalists of Color

Efforts to recruit and hire journalists of color are at the forefront of the industry’s agenda. What’s working, and where do we as an industry need to improve? Sergio Bustos, South Regional Manager for Report for America, and a panel of journalists of color will discuss their firsthand experiences as journalists of color and their take on efforts to diversify newsrooms.

Facilitators: Sergio Bustos, Dante Miller, Laura Brache, Eileen Rodriguez

Brainstorming Product and Project-Based Collaborations

Collaborations between North Carolina newsrooms (nonprofit, for-profit and beyond) offer new possibilities for reporting within existing and emerging news infrastructures. This session will focus on creating projects and products on the fly and learning the valuable lesson of hearing “no.”

Facilitators: Jordan Wilkie, Benjamin Schactman

2022 NC News & Information Summit

Third Session Block

How to Approach Environmental and Climate Change Reporting Across NC Communities

Climate change is a complex and important topic, and helping communities understand the local impacts of climate change is challenging. Across North Carolina, news organizations are hiring environmental reporters, and they’re attracting philanthropic funders to do so. Independent journalists are also taking environmental issues and reaching wide audiences in nontraditional ways. Join a conversation with a diverse group of journalists from varying platforms, and hear from a funder about why these topics are attracting funding – and why now.

Facilitators: Melba Newsome, Celeste Gracia, Adam Wagner, Gareth McGrath, Ashley Talley, John Deem, Rusty Coats

Play-by-Play: A Guide to Audience Engagement Tools

Tried everything to engage your audience with little improvement? Join the EducationNC audience team as they walk you through proven tactics to transform your newsroom, from content distribution to readership connection.

Facilitators: Sergio Osnaya-Prieto, Anna Pogarcic

Reclaiming Election Coverage: Ideas from The Citizens Agenda and Solutions Journalism

Curious about ways to focus on your community in your elections coverage? Melanie Sill and Glenn Burkins will present ideas for audience-first coverage, including an introduction to the Citizens Agenda approach. Burkins will also talk about why Qcitymetro is joining the Democracy SOS cohort and his newsroom’s approach to election coverage.

Facilitators: Glenn Burkins, Melanie Sill

Fourth Session Block

Access Denied: The First Amendment and Emerging Problems in Public Spaces

Join representatives from the Duke First Amendment Clinic to learn about your rights to access public meetings, courtroom proceedings, and public officials’ social media pages. This session will offer attendees a space to share their experiences, from being denied access to finding legal remedies.

Facilitators: Sarah Ludington, Nicole Ligon, Shannon O’Hara, Danielle Siegel, Bailey Frank

News Product Brainstorm: How Local Newsrooms Can Widen Our Reach to New Audiences

Members of the North Carolina News Collaborative have an idea for a new newsletter product that could help news organizations broaden their reach for watchdog and enterprise reporting. They also want to create a tool to help journalists across the state easily find and republish content. But they need your help. Participants will engage in a real-time brainstorm to identify and solve problems from both the news organization and audience perspectives.

Facilitators: Les High, Pam Sander, Tony Elkins

Where are the Data Reporting Gaps in Community Coverage?

Join Carolina Demography and the NC Local News Workshop for a conversation about big questions we’re tackling this year: Where are the gaps in community coverage? Which data skills and training are needed for newsrooms? How can we work together with newsrooms across the state to build this capacity and explore important trends in rural and underserved communities?

Facilitators: Becky Tippett, Shannan Bowen

Thank You, Sponsors

2022 NC News and Information Summit Sponsors
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