Over the past few years, we’ve started compiling where local political and news conversations are taking place, in addition to traditional sources like WUNC, the News and Observer, the Daily Tar Heel (which has excellent local coverage) and WRAL.
Here’s a starting list for where we recommend getting high-quality news from social media and newsletters – and what kinds of information you’ll find in each place.
Our recommendations for news about:
- Council Member Karen Stegman’s newsletter offers a progressive view of the challenges Chapel Hill faces.
- @DTHCityState – The Twitter account for the Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Orange County beat at the Daily Tar Heel livetweets most town council meetings. We also recommend subscribing to their weekly OC Report for news about Orange County.
- The Northside News is delivered to more than 1000 houses in Chapel Hill’s Northside Neighborhood. It’s also available online and often features history, policy, and features from the neighborhood.
- Kristen Smith Young, who leads UNC’s Community Relations office, publishes a really good weekly newsletter about events and happenings at UNC that are open to the public.
- Mayor Damon Seils has a newsletter that comes out on a monthly basis, give or take. (Sign up in the right rail) He also has office hours, which he posts on Twitter.
- Patrick McDonough AICP provides an urbanist perspective on Carrboro. His blog has been running for nine years and counting — so it’s a great place to start to learn more about the historical context for any development project underway.
School board news
- Chapel Hill/Carrboro Mother’s Club – With 8,200 members (as of 4/22), this group is one of the largest in the area and provides information about a variety of topics, including school board meetings and local elections. Though the name says mothers
and a number of us would like it to be changed, all parents are welcome. Run by several moderators.
- @DTHCityState – The Twitter account for the Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Orange County beat at the Daily Tar Heel livetweets most school board meetings. We also recommend subscribing to their weekly OC Report for news about Orange County.
Getting historical context
- The Carrboro Citizen, a weekly newspaper, published between 2007-2012. The complete archives are available online.
- Orange Politics – Founded by Ruby Sinreich (who has since decamped to Durham) in 2003, Orange Politics was for many years a critical resource for progressives interested in local politics. Former editors include Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils and former Chapel Hill Town Council member Jason Baker. The current editor is Molly De Marco, who is also a co-founder of NEXT. While the blog is mostly dormant now, its archives are a terrific resource for learning about Chapel Hill politics from 2003 to ~2018.
- Mike Ogle’s Substack “Chapel Hill History, Unobstructed” is a must-read.
Developments and housing
- Chapel Hill Carrboro Chat – Run by Tammy Grubb, the Orange County reporter for the News and Observer, this community often discusses affordable housing and various developments. Most active commenters do not want development or growth (which is also similar to NextDoor.)
- NEXT Chapel Hill – Carrboro – Run by the leaders of NEXT , this group (which features several bloggers from Triangle Blog Blog) advocates for building more housing (both market-rate and affordable) to accommodate the many people who want to live in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, stronger public transit and bicycle/walking solutions, and reducing exclusionary policies that have reduced our community’s diversity. They also have a mailing list and a Twitter account.