N.C. Policy Watch, a project of the N.C. Justice Center, is a news and commentary outlet dedicated to informing the public — including elected officials as they debate important issues — and ultimately to improving the quality of life for all North Carolinians.

N.C. Policy Watch generates a large and steady flow of timely, accurate and hard-hitting commentaries, analysis and investigative news reports that inform elected officials, advocates, the media and the public at-large. The N.C. Policy Watch blog, The Progressive Pulse, is one of North Carolina’s most active and important public policy websites. Policy Watch Investigates is one of the state’s most important sources of high quality, independent reporting.

The staff members of NC Policy Watch speak frequently at forums and events throughout the state and regularly provide insights and expert analysis for various media outlets. N.C. Policy Watch also sponsors a regular luncheon series, “Crucial Conversations,” which brings prominent state and national leaders together with the community to talk about issues facing the state. N.C. Policy Watch Director Chris Fitzsimon is the host of a weekly syndicated radio show — “News and Views” — aired on several stations around the state. He is also a regular panelist on “N.C. SPIN,” a weekly television talk show about state government and politics.

The list of specific issues tackled over the years by the Policy Watch staff is a long one and includes everything from state fiscal policy, the affordable housing crisis, health care reform, K-12 and higher education, LGBTQ and immigrant rights, government and lobbying reform to environmental protection.

To subscribe to our newsletters and investigative reports, click here.

To request a speaker for an event or media appearance, please contact Rob Schofield at 919-861-2065 or rob@ncpolicywatch.com

If you would like to contribute to our work, please contact Rob Schofield at the phone number or email listed above or simply click here.

The staff of NC Policy Watch:

Chris Fitzsimon-8-12-HEADSHOT-edit-100x147 Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts News and Views, a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina.


Rob Schofield, Director of Research, has three decades of experience as a lawyer, lobbyist, writer, commentator and trainer. At N.C. Policy Watch, Rob writes and edits frequent opinion pieces and blog posts, speaks to various civic groups, appears regularly on TV and radio and helps build and develop movements for change.


Clayton Henkel, Communications Coordinator for N.C. Policy Watch, joined the project in November 2009. She is responsible for the project’s website and newsletter management as well as production of its weekly News and Views radio program.


Nelle Dunlap, New Media Director, is a digital artist with a background in education, community organizing, and design. At N.C. Policy Watch, Nelle keeps the website running smoothly and collaborates with reporters to create new visual content — including video, info-graphics, and interactive social media.


Billy-ball-2-edit-100x147 Billy Ball, Education Reporter, joined N.C. Policy Watch in January 2016. He covers public education at the N.C. General Assembly and the State Board of Education. Before joining the project, Billy was a staff writer and investigative reporter for The Independent Weekly for more than three years, covering education, the environment, politics and the criminal justice system. Before that, Billy served as a general assignment reporter for The Sanford Herald and The Monroe Enquirer-Journal.


Lisa Sorg Lisa Sorg, Environmental Reporter, joined N.C. Policy Watch in July 2016. She covers environmental issues, including social justice, pollution, climate change and energy policy. Before joining the project, Lisa was the editor and an investigative reporter for INDY Week, covering the environment, housing and city government. She has been a journalist for 22 years, working at magazines, daily newspapers, digital media outlets and alternative newsweeklies.


Joe Killian Joe Killian, Investigative Reporter, joined N.C. Policy Watch in August of 2016. His work takes a closer look at government, politics and policy in North Carolina and their impact on the lives of everyday people. Before joining Policy Watch, Joe spent a decade at the News & Record in Greensboro, reporting on everything from cops and courts to higher education. He covered the city councils of High Point and Greensboro and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners before becoming the paper’s full-time government and politics reporter. In that role he covered the North Carolina General Assembly and statewide elections. His work has also appeared in The Winston-Salem Journal, Go Triad, and The Bristol Press in Bristol, Conn., and The Cape Cod Times in Hyannis, Mass.


Melissa Boughton Melissa Boughton, Courts and Law Reporter, joined N.C. Policy Watch in September 2016. She covers local, state and federal courts and writes about key decisions that impact the lives of North Carolinians. Before joining the project, Melissa worked the crime and courts beats at The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C.; The Winchester Star in Winchester, Va.; and The Kerrville Daily Times in Kerrville, TX. While reporting in Charleston, she covered the Emanuel church shootings and the police killing of Walter Scott. She was part of the team that was named a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in breaking news reporting for coverage of Scott’s death.


General Information
P.O. Box 28068
Raleigh, NC 27611
224 S. Dawson Street
Raleigh, NC 27601