top of page

Happy Birthday Carolina Commentary

Updated: May 8, 2022

Carolina Commentary launched two years ago, the vision of former Asheville Citizen-Times Publisher Virgil Smith. This not-for-profit platform was inspired by Smith’s work as a member of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation board of trustees and by a friend who said she felt he was being called to bring facts and balanced analysis to the forefront regarding issues dividing North Carolina and the nation.He brought in three former Citizen-Times editorial page editors to help with the effort: Jim Buchanan, Joy Franklin and Julie Martin.

We agreed from the beginning that we wanted to provide commentary promoting collaborative and realistic approaches to solving public policy issues. We also agreed that every commentary would follow these editorial standards:

  • Integrity:We commit to the highest standards in professionalism, intellectual honesty and transparency. We will be balanced, accurate and fair in our commentary.

  • Quality: We will provide content that is thorough, fresh and innovative.

  • Diversity: Our content will reflect the communities we serve, responsive to a diverse public.

  • Service:Our content will be free from outside influence, political pressure or economic interests.

  • Commentary: We will comment on issues of public interest.

Our first commentary spoke to the crisis of deportation of undocumented parents of American-born children.Since then, we have published 67 commentaries and built a following: 9,974 subscribers who receive a posting notification on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month via email. When news events merit, we provide additional commentaries.

As journalism has continued its historic, tectonic shift with dwindling resources, we have pitched in to help those serving on the frontlines. Online and print news media statewide have picked up our commentaries (provided free of charge) and published them.

We show our readers why they should care about specific threats to North Carolina’s system of democracy, its economy and justice for all. Our particular public policy topics of public policy interest include the environment, education, immigration and health care. Our writers are moderate progressives who hope to promote thoughtful debate that renounces ideology in favor of dialogue based on facts.

Guest commentators have included academics and former/current newspaper columnists:

  • DeWayne Wickham, founding dean of Morgan State University’s School of Global Journalism & Communication. For 30 years he was a columnist for USA TODAY and GANNETT

  • Samuel P. Martin, publisher of The Birmingham Times

  • Leslie Winner, former executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and former N.C. senator

  • Christopher Cooper, professor and department head of political science and public affairs at Western Carolina University

  • Antionette Kerr, syndicated columnist, news contributor & nonprofit consultant

  • Jason Giersch, assistant professor, political science & public administration, UNC Charlotte

  • W. Noah Reynolds, member of the Monument Study Committee on the North Carolina Historical Commission

North Carolina news organizations are invited to pick up and publish Carolina Commentary editorials (guidelineshere). They also are invited to email their editorials to for publication on the website.

Readers who aren’t already subscribers are invited to sign up for our free commentarieshere. You will receive an email notification twice a month when commentaries are available on this site. We also want to hear from you. Join the discussion, using the comment function at the bottom of this page.

We’ll keep writing and growing.

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page