Carolina Community Media Project

The Carolina Community Media Project, an outreach initiative of the UNC School of Media and Journalism, is dedicated to the proposition that strong community media help strengthen communities, and that communities — be they rural or suburban — with a vital civic life and a sense of place are key to high livability in a free democratic society.

Through teaching, research and outreach, the project supports, enhances and empowers North Carolina’s community media, beginning with the 192 community newspapers and their online editions, as well as local-emphasis community- oriented radio, TV and cable outlets.

Launched in January 2001, the project is led by founding director Jock Lauterer, who teaches Community Journalism every semester. His students become intimately involved in the project by producing “hometown hero” story/photo packages about outstanding UNC students performing public service. Story/photo packages are tailored specifically for the community newspapers “back home.”

Since 2001, the project has produced hundreds of such hometown hero stories for the state’s local press. Also, each summer since 2001, Lauterer, has taken his “Community Journalism Roadshow” to 107 small newspapers literally “from Murphy to Manteo.” These free on-site workshops are extremely popular and well received. Read Lauterer's "Blue Highways Journal" blog about his travels across the state.

Other accomplishments include: creating the annual N.C. Newspaper Academy, an affordable accessible journalism “boot camp;” creating, organizing and moderating panel discussions on issues relevant to community journalism at the N.C. Press Association conventions, held each January and July; creating the Carrboro Commons, a Web-based community newspaper for Carrboro published biweekly by the Community Journalism class, fall 2006; and the launching of the Community Journalism Interest Group within the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, August 2005; creating the Peggy Allen Prize, awarded to an outstanding community journalism student to support a summer internship at an N.C. community newspaper, 2006.

Contact information

Jock Lauterer
The Carolina Community Media Project
213 Carroll Hall
CB 3365
School of Media and Journalism
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3365
919.962.0620 (fax)