Sponsor Spotlight at the NC News & Information Summit

Thanks to our generous sponsors, the North Carolina News & Information Summit is able to host dynamic, engaging sessions on freedom of information and news sustainability with the goal of improving North Carolina citizens’ access to critical information. Read on to learn more about our sponsors and check in on their efforts to improve news and freedom of information around the state.

The Horn Foundation is a nonprofit charitable foundation headquartered in Calabasas, California. Their areas of philanthropic support include raising awareness of environmental hazards, supporting initiatives to combat the effects of climate change, and improving public understanding of environmental justice and climate issues.

Brooks Pierce is a leading law firm in the state of North Carolina and has represented numerous media organizations in the courtroom and in the halls of the General Assembly. Brooks Pierce provides legal services on issues that range from freedom of information matters to First Amendment practice to business organizations and mergers. Partner Mark Prak recently concluded more than a decade of service on the board of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition. Partner Eric David currently serves on the board.

The North Carolina Press Foundation is a longtime supporter of the NC Open Government Coalition. The NC Press Foundation supports the NC Press Association, which provides a legal hotline for journalists and represents the interests of the free press around the state and at the General Assembly. Phil Lucey, executive director of the NCPA, currently serves on the Coalition board of directors. 

The Southern Environmental Law Center is a proud sponsor of the NC News and Information Summit.  SELC has a long history of advocating for open and transparent government with an emphasis on transparency in environmental justice matters. SELC has spearheaded litigation efforts to open up emails of local government officials, investigate connections between corporate and public interests affecting North Carolina lands and water, and much more. 

A message from SELC Litigation Director Kym Meyer: “We at SELC see first hand every day how important it is to have a transparent government that makes decisions informed by, and for, the people it serves.  From challenging environmental injustice, to ensuring our state plays a role in tackling climate change, to guaranteeing that every North Carolinian knows what harmful chemicals are in the air they breathe and the water they drink we rely on tools that keep our democracy in the sunshine, and stand proudly with our local media partners who ensure access to information throughout our state.” 

UpState is a project of Code the Dream, an organization that provides free intensive training in software development to people from diverse, predominantly low-income, backgrounds. The UpState project uses civic technology to improve awareness of legislative activity at the General Assembly. Through real-time bill tracking, transcription and bill comparison tools, citizens can stay informed about what’s happening in the legislature and how it affects their lives.

The A.J. Fletcher Foundation works to improve the lives and well-being of all North Carolinians. Of their many philanthropic initiatives, the Fletcher Foundation supports media and communication projects that raise the public consciousness and promote strong journalism to benefit the people of North Carolina. A.J. Fletcher (1887-1979) was the founder of Capitol Broadcasting Company.

Graig Meyer serves NC Senate District 23 (Orange, Caswell, Person) in the North Carolina General Assembly. He served in the NC House from 2013 to 2023. Among Meyer’s co-sponsored bills is the Government Transparency Act of 2023, which would require public agencies to provide a general description of the reasons for any change in personnel status involving a public employee. Sponsorship support for the Summit is provided by the Committee to Elect Graig Meyer and is not an endorsement of a candidate for office.

WRAL is a longtime supporter of Sunshine Day and the North Carolina Open Government Coalition. The NBC affiliate serving the Triangle has taken part in Sunshine Week reporting collaborations and events since their inception. For years, WRAL reporters led collaborative watchdog reporting projects around the state during Sunshine Week. Ashley Talley, enterprise executive director, currently serves on the NC Open Government Coalition board of directors. Rick Gall, news director, recently completed more than a decade of service on the board.

BlueLena provides an audience management platform and marketing services to accelerate digital transformation and build a long-term sustainable business models in journalism and local news. Among its recent successes is fueling the successful launch of the Springfield (MO) Daily Citizen. BlueLena is a first-time sponsor of the NC News & Information Summit.

Elon University is the physical home to the NC Open Government Coalition and the NC Local News Workshop. The School of Communications at Elon is a longtime host, partner and supporter of the Coalition’s and the Workshop’s shared mission to improve the lives of North Carolinians by supporting freedom of information and journalism for the public good.

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