News organizations to host public listening session in Whiteville on July 25

Columbus County and surrounding area residents are invited to share their views about local issues and tell local news and information organizations how they want to be informed. 

Join the NC Local News Workshop, The News Reporter, the Border Belt Independent, WHQR and The Assembly for a community conversation about local issues and news and information on Tuesday, July 25, in Whiteville.

Dinner will be provided at 6 p.m., followed by rounds of discussion about local issues and how residents want to receive news and information. Everyone will have a chance to be heard, and journalists will be listening. 

Local news organizations will introduce their teams, their missions and why they want to improve their focus on Columbus County, but mostly, they’ll be there to listen. 

The event is free, but guests should register by July 20. Sign up at

Organizers are: 

The NC Local News Workshop, based at Elon University, helps local news organizations strengthen their service to their communities. NCLNW helps news and information organizations connect with each other and solve challenges together. 

WHQR News is the NPR-affiliate station serving southeastern North Carolina. It is a nonprofit, community-owned station, delivering in-depth and investigative reporting at 91.3 FM and online at

The News Reporter is an independent, locally owned media company covering Columbus County since 1896. It is published online at and in print every Thursday.

The Border Belt Independent is an online, nonprofit news organization that publishes in-depth stories examining issues in Bladen, Columbus, Robeson and Scotland counties. Content is free and accessible online at

The Assembly ( is a statewide magazine and website focused on deep-dive reporting about power and place across North Carolina.

For more information, contact Shannan Bowen, executive director of the NC Local News Workshop, at

The event will be held at The Liberty Center, 305 Liberty St., located off J.K. Powell Boulevard in Whiteville just south of U.S. 74-76 near The News Reporter offices.

Daria Parker, a UNC Pembroke journalism student, participates in roundtable discussion in September 2022.