NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center, is a news and commentary outlet dedicated to informing the public — including elected officials as they debate important issues — and ultimately to improving the quality of life for all North Carolinians.
Each workday, Policy Watch generates a large and steady flow of timely, accurate and hard-hitting news reports, commentary, and analysis that inform elected officials, advocates, the media and the public at-large. With a team of veteran journalists dedicated to covering state government, the project is one of North Carolina’s most important news outlets and generates hundreds of original news stories each year. The Policy Watch blog, The Pulse, is one of North Carolina’s busiest and important interactive policy websites.
Policy Watch staff members also speak frequently at forums and events throughout the state and regularly provide insights and expert analysis for various media outlets. Policy Watch Director Rob Schofield is the host of a weekly syndicated radio show — News and Views — which airs on several stations around the state. The project also sponsors the “Crucial Conversations” luncheon series that provides a regular venue for prominent state and national leaders to inform and engage with North Carolinians about important issues facing the state and nation.
The list of specific issues tackled over the years by the Policy Watch staff is a long one and includes state fiscal policy, voting rights, health care policy, K-12 and higher education, LGBTQ and immigrant rights, racism and racial discrimination, government and lobbying reform, environmental protection, reproductive freedom, sexual discrimination, affordable housing, gun violence, criminal justice reform, consumer protection and many, many more.
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To request a speaker for an event or media appearance (or if you have a complaint or correction to offer with respect to any content published on an NC Policy Watch website), please contact Rob Schofield at 919-861-2065 or [email protected].
Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity. The Society declares these four principles as the foundation of ethical journalism and encourages their use in its practice by all people in all media.
The staff of NC Policy Watch:
|Rob Schofield, NC Policy Watch Director, has more than three decades of experience as a journalist, commentator, and lawyer. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day project operations, Schofield writes a widely-circulated weekly opinion column and handles numerous public speaking and electronic media appearances. He also delivers a radio commentary that’s broadcast weekdays on Raleigh’s MIX 101.5/WRAL-FM and hosts News and Views, a weekly news magazine/podcast that airs on multiple online platforms and North Carolina radio stations.|
|Greg Childress, Education Reporter, joined Policy Watch in December 2018 after nearly 30 years at The Herald-Sun of Durham, where he spent his last five years covering the Durham Public Schools, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and Orange County Schools. Greg also covered city and county governments in Durham and Orange counties, higher education and spent 10 years as an associate editorial page editor.
|Clayton Henkel, Communications Coordinator for Policy Watch, joined the project in November 2009 and is one of North Carolina’s most experienced and accomplished electronic journalists. She is responsible for the project’s website and newsletter management as well as production of daily radio commentaries and the weekly News and Views radio program.
|Joe Killian, Investigative Reporter, joined Policy Watch in August of 2016. His work takes a closer look at government, politics and policy in North Carolina and their impact on the lives of everyday people. Before joining Policy Watch, Joe spent a decade at the News & Record in Greensboro, reporting on everything from cops and courts to higher education, and eventually became the paper’s full-time government and politics reporter. In that role he covered the North Carolina General Assembly and statewide elections. His work has also appeared in The Winston-Salem Journal, Go Triad, and The Bristol Press in Bristol, Conn., and The Cape Cod Times in Hyannis, Mass.|
|Lisa Sorg, Assistant Editor and Environmental Reporter, joined Policy Watch in July 2016. In addition to helping to develop, edit and manage content for both Policy Watch websites, she reports on environmental issues, including social justice, pollution, climate change and energy policy. Before joining the project, Lisa was the editor and an investigative reporter for INDY Week, covering the environment, housing and city government. She has been a journalist for 28 years, working at magazines, daily newspapers, digital media outlets and alternative newsweeklies.|
|Lynn Bonner, Investigative Reporter, joined Policy Watch in October 2020 after 26 years as a reporter at The News & Observer. She covered the state legislature and politics for 20 years, and wrote extensively about mental health, state Medicaid policies and spending, and public education. Before coming to North Carolina, she wrote for newspapers in New England.|
|Kelan Lyons, Investigative Reporter, joined Policy Watch in June 2022. Before moving to North Carolina, he wrote about the criminal legal system for the Connecticut Mirror. He has written extensively about an array of systemic issues within the justice system, including solitary confinement, money bail, racial disparities among the incarcerated population, and the ways people with mental illnesses can become ensnared in the legal system. He has also worked at newsrooms in Utah and Texas.|
|Kirk Ross, 2022 Election Correspondent, is a longtime North Carolina journalist covering the 2022 U.S. Senate race for Policy Watch and States Newsroom. For the past decade, Kirk has reported on state politics and public policy as a member of the Capital Press Corps for Carolina Public Press and the Washington Post and on environmental, climate change and energy policy for Coastal Review. Kirk was a Chapel Hill News and News & Observer local government and education reporter, managing editor of INDY Week and co-founder and editor of the fondly-remembered Carrboro Citizen weekly.|
Washington, DC Bureau:
|Jane Norman is the Washington Bureau Chief for the States Newsroom where she directs national coverage, managing staff and freelance reporters in the nation’s capital and assigning and editing state-specific daily and enterprise stories.|
|Kira Lerner is the democracy reporter for States Newsroom where she covers voting, elections, redistricting, and efforts to subvert democracy.|
|Ariana Figueroa covers the nation’s capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance.|
|Jacob Fischler overs federal policy as a senior reporter in the States Newsroom Washington bureau. Based in Oregon, he focuses on Western issues as well as climate, energy development, public lands and infrastructure.|
|Jennifer Shutt covers the nation’s capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Her coverage areas include congressional policy, politics and legal challenges with a focus on health care, unemployment, housing and aid to families.|
Email: [email protected]
Mail: P.O. Box 28068
Raleigh, NC 27611
Visit: 224 S. Dawson Street
Raleigh, NC 27601