February 23, 2023
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N.C. nonprofits announce transfer of Raleigh-based news outlet
NC Policy Watch, a pioneering nonprofit newsroom that has helped spur a resurgence in news coverage of state government in North Carolina and around the country, will soon have a new home.
On March 1, ownership of the project will be transferred from the Raleigh-based North Carolina Justice Center, the state’s leading anti-poverty advocacy organization from which it has operated as an editorially independent project since 2007, to Chapel Hill-based States Newsroom. States Newsroom is a fast-growing journalism nonprofit that operates state policy-focused newsrooms in 32 states.
The move comes after years of collaboration and several months of discussion and planning between the two organizations. In announcing the transfer, States Newsroom Director and Publisher Chris Fitzsimon, the founding director of NC Policy Watch in 2004, said the move was the next obvious and logical step in NC Policy Watch’s evolution.
“Fifteen years ago, when NC Policy Watch joined the NC Justice Center, it was a small initiative devoted to providing progressive commentary and analysis about state policy and politics,” Fitzsimon said. “Today, it’s a valued partner in our growing national network. It only makes sense for it to be formally affiliated with the larger organization,” he continued.
Reggie Shuford, executive director of the NC Justice Center, echoed Fitzsimon’s assessment. “The NC Justice Center board and staff are enormously proud of having helped birth such an important part of the state’s journalism ecosystem at a time in which so many news organizations are struggling mightily,” Shuford said. “And while we’ll miss the presence of the Policy Watch team, we also think that States Newsroom is the best fit for it to fulfill its mission today. Our advocates look forward to continuing to contribute regularly to the Policy Watch opinion pages in the years to come.”
Policy Watch editor and director Rob Schofield expressed appreciation to both organizations and pride in his news team’s accomplishments during its tenure at the NC Justice Center. “Our team of veteran, award-winning journalists has a record of high-impact journalism over the last decade-plus that stacks up against any newsroom in the state, and the NC Justice Center has been a supportive place in which to do that work,” Schofield said. “Becoming a fully integrated part of States Newsroom will give us the tools and platform to continue that growth and increase our impact .”
NC Policy Watch employs a team of seven journalists who produce news stories and commentaries for a large and growing online and radio audience that numbers in the tens of thousands each week. For more information, visit www.ncpolicywatch.com/