Opinion: Daily Journal

Please Join the Club

RALEIGH – If you like what you read at CarolinaJournal.com, join the club.

I mean, quite literally, that you should consider joining a Carolina Freedom Club. If you like visiting our daily news site each morning – to read our exclusive news stories and investigative pieces, scan the day’s headlines, and check out what crazy thing I’ll say next – please join your local Freedom Club and help support independent journalism in North Carolina.

The John Locke Foundation – the nonprofit think tank that produces Carolina Journal in print, radio, video, and online formats – created seven Freedom Clubs across the state last year. Thousands of North Carolinians have responded to our invitation so far, either by attending a Freedom Club meeting in their communities or joining their regional club by mail or email.

Thanks to their efforts, we were able to raise tens of thousands of dollars to support Carolina Journal’s unique blend of news, investigation, analysis, and commentary. We couldn’t do it without our Freedom Club members. And we won’t be able to maintain or expand CJ’s offerings without recruiting additional Freedom Club members.

So if you believe that CJ provides a valuable public service, please join the club.

Most of our audience consumes CJ in its monthly print format, which began publication in 1991. Some 130,000 readers across North Carolina enjoy CJ’s broad coverage of the General Assembly, government, and politics, as well as our special sections devoted to education, local government, culture, history, and other subjects.

Some readers of the print edition get it directly through the mail. Others read regional editions of CJ that are inserted in their local newspapers. Still others download each monthly issue as a pdf to read at their leisure.

So no matter how you get it, if you like what you read in CJ, please join the club.

Tens of thousands of additional North Carolinians get their CJ fix through Carolina Journal Weekly Report, a newsletter that got its start in 1993; CarolinaJournal.com, which launched in 1999; or our weekly syndicated newsmagazine Carolina Journal Radio, which launched in 2003 and is co-hosted by Mitch Kokai and Donna Martinez. Currently broadcast on commercial radio stations from the mountain to the coast, CJ Radio provides listeners with interviews, expert discussions, and clips from speeches, press conferences, and legislative debates.

Most of the audience hears our program from a local station, but listeners can also get it by podcast. Perhaps you are one of those who download the program each week to listen to while you commute, travel, or exercise.

If so, and if you like what you hear on Carolina Journal Radio, please join the club.

As a project of the John Locke Foundation, Carolina Journal is one of a growing number of journalistic enterprises housed in nonprofits and sustained by tax-deductible contributions. Some of these projects are based at universities. Others are run by foundations, local charities, or think tanks like JLF.

The model certainly isn’t new. It’s the way public radio and television programming has been produced for decades. But as the business model for traditional media outlets has been put under tremendous pressure by economic and technological change, nonprofit media experiments are proliferating.

We wish them well. CJ is no longer an experiment, however. With nearly two decades under our belts, we’ve established a strong record of accomplishment and loyal readership.

So if you’d like to see us extend that record far into the future, please join the club.

We’d love to have you.

Hood is president of the John Locke Foundation.