The North Carolina Open Government Coalition is leading a project to educate the public and encourage collaboration among journalists covering the University of North Carolina.
The coalition, partnering with journalists, professors and nonprofit organizations, filed eight requests with the university, seeking records related to the hiring of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism in the university’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media.
Hannah-Jones was denied tenure after conservatives complained of her hiring at the University of North Carolina. The UNC Board later voted in favor of granting her tenure, but Hannah-Jones declined, opting instead to join Howard University and launch its Center for Journalism and Democracy.
Anyone can view the requests seeking information from the University of North Carolina and follow the university’s responses on the freedom of information website MuckRock.
“Controversies are often perfect opportunities for public education,” said Brooks Fuller, Director of the NC Open Government Coalition. “What’s happened at UNC in recent months has captured the attention of journalists, educators, and politicians from all over the country. What better way to seize on a teachable moment about the public records laws than putting them to the test around such a newsworthy issue?”