Year in review: News about local news, 2022

Jon Ellison. Photo by Jack Sorokin

The news never stops — nor do the comings and goings of local journalists — as a roundup of 2022 local journalism news attests. And yet again, area news outlets racked up some notable awards and accomplishments this year.

  • In February, Mountain Xpress staffer Daniel Walton became the publication’s news editor.
  • In March, Blue Ridge Public Radio, NPR’s voice in Western North Carolina, welcomed a new general manager and CEO, Jeffrey Pope. He held previous public media leadership positions in Colorado, where he organized news collectives for station KSJD. And in October, BPR’s news director, Matt Bush, departed the job after six years for a similar post at a Maryland station.
    • Other big news for the broadcaster: BPR conducted the “Big Switch” on Oct. 31, swapping the 20 frequencies of its two channels, BPR News and BPR Classic, to nearly double BPR’s news coverage area in WNC.
  • This summer, Asheville-based WNC Magazine welcomed a new editor, Allison Sherman.
  • Online investigative publication Asheville Watchdog, powered by mostly volunteer professional newshounds, had another banner year.
    • In November, it grew its team by hiring John Boyle — a 27-year veteran of the Asheville Citizen Times who qualifies as a lion of local journalism.
    • Meanwhile, reporter Sally Kestin won national awards for her “Equity Erased” series about predatory real estate investors from the Institute for Nonprofit News and the National Headliner Awards, along with a public service award from the N.C. Press Association.
  • Two locally based publications — Carolina Public Press and Mountain Xpress — were among 31 American news outlets awarded support this fall through the American Press Institute’s Election Coverage and Community Listening Fund, an effort to deepen community engagement in local political reporting.
    • In October, Carolina Public Press also named Kara Andrade as its editor-in-chief.
  • In November, community radio station Asheville FM launched The New Wave, “a mini-station within the station geared toward training and amplifying the voices of young members of our community,” as the station describes it. The show airs Sundays from 10-11 a.m. on 103.3 FM and The station is celebrating a slew of awards this year from the Alliance for Community Media Foundation, including one for overall excellence in community radio.

Editor’s note: This story was updated on Dec. 28. 


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About Jon Elliston
Former Mountain Xpress managing editor Jon Elliston is the senior editor at WNC magazine.

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