One of JLF’s most important projects is its monthly newspaper, Carolina Journal. Since its debut in 1991, Carolina Journal has published hundreds of articles on politics, education, health care, crime, taxes, and other issues. With a statewide readership of more than 20,000, Carolina Journal — under Publisher Jon Ham and Managing Editor Rick Henderson — covers state government and the legislature and includes special sections on education, books and culture, higher education, and local government.
While known for its analysis and opinion, the newspaper is also a leader in investigative journalism. In 1997, CJ’s Don Carrington broke the story of a $21 million slush fund used by insiders for pork barrel projects in violation of law. The following year, a CJ investigation of hiring and promotion practices in state government helped to prompt former Gov. Jim Hunt and lawmakers to enact reforms of the state personnel system. More recently, Carolina Journal has exposed conflicts of interest and misuse of public funds in areas such as economic development, a natural-gas boondoggle in Northeastern North Carolina, and state grants to politically connected nonprofits. Partly as a consequence of CJ investigations, former State Sen. Frank Ballance resigned his office as a freshman member of Congress in 2004 and was later indicted for federal crimes.
Articles from Carolina Journal are frequently quoted in news reports and editorials. Carolina Beat a weekly op-ed column, is condensed from Carolina Journal and appears hundreds of times a year across the state. A separate syndicated column written by CJ publisher John Hood appears weekly in more than three dozen daily and community newspapers with half a million readers statewide.
Carolina Journal reporting and analysis is available in several other forms as well. Carolina Journal Weekly Report is distributed by e-mail each weekend to thousands of North Carolinians who have an interest in politics and public policy. Its daily web site, CarolinaJournal.com, provides JLF commentaries and news reports, summaries of breaking stories in the state’s major media, and links to newspapers, wire services, blogs, and other information resources. About 30,000 different North Carolinians each month visit CarolinaJournal.com. On the airwaves, Carolina Journal Radio is an hourlong newsmagazine broadcast each weekend on 20 commercial radio stations across the state. As host, Hood interviews CJ writers, contributors, and special guests about the major issues of the day.