Les High, legacy publisher in North Carolina, establishes center for local investigative journalism


Les High, publisher of The News Reporter, a family newspaper in Whiteville, North Carolina, has founded The Border Belt Center, a burgeoning nonprofit journalism organization that will begin publishing online as the Border Belt Independent in May.

Using a $495,000 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust over the next three years, High will build a team of journalists who will publish in-depth stories about issues facing Bladen, Columbus, Robeson and Scotland counties in southeastern North Carolina, one of the poorest areas in the state.

On the Border Belt Independent’s website, High explains that the new organization will focus primarily on the challenges faced by rural North Carolina counties, such as education, poverty, health, mental health and issues that adversely affect individuals based on age, race and the economy.

Read more here.