Carl Blankenship, who served as The Local Reporter’s 6th editor for approximately four months, is no longer listed on the paper’s masthead, and the paper has once again posted a job announcement for the top editorial position on JournalismJobs.com. Blankenship’s LinkedIn profile shows that he is no longer employed by the paper.
This switch comes on the heels of our reporting last week concerning The Local Reporter’s recent problematic political coverage. The paper has covered some local candidates and not others, and has struggled in the past with issues concerning transparency, disclosure and bias.
Blankenship posted a column last week apologizing for omissions in political coverage. He stated that he “hoped to have more to share about improving oversight and accountability at TLR soon.” He then left the paper shortly afterwards.
Update 8/3: The Local Reporter has appointed Julia Runk Jones to temporarily edit the paper. Jones previously served as the paper’s dog columnist for the past three months. Her biography notes that she “resides in Chapel Hill on a large property with her son and five beloved Rhodesian Ridgebacks. ” No announcement was made by the paper. In addition, Michelle Cassell’s title has changed from assignment editor to managing editor. No announcement was made by the paper.