Dear Carrboro: Welcome to the Commons, round two

By Jock Lauterer
Lecturer and advisor
The Carrboro Commons.

Welcome to the Fall 2007 edition of the Carrboro Commons, a student-produced biweekly online source of stories, photos and commentary about this wonderfully eclectic community of ours.

I say “ours” because as a Chapel Hill native and now a resident of Greater Carrboro, I take pride in being a Carrburban — or whatever it is that we call ourselves.


Veteran editor-publisher Ken Ripley of the Spring Hope Enterprise (seated, center) is surrounded by the UNC Community Journalism class, which, addition to staffing the Carrboro Commons, will be running a “Bucket Brigade” to help Ripley as he recuperates from double hip replacement this fall. Staffers include, left to right, Laura Davenport, Gregg Found, Kate Newnam, Sam Giffin, Kendal Walters, Marianna King, Elyse Archer, Emily Burns, Cody Braun and Cameron Weaver. Instructor Jock Lauterer is at lower front right. Absent at time of photo is Jon Sullivan.

Photo by Vickie Ripley.

The Commons was created a year ago last fall, largely due to student initiative, plus the inspiration and encouragement of area journalists Robert “Bubba” Dickson and Kirk Ross, who launched their own independent community newspaper, the Citizen, in Carrboro last March. Not surprisingly, the Commons has a reciprocal relationship with the Citizen, and you will see an occasional Commons feature appearing in print in the Citizen.

As you read our stories and look at our pictures, remember this is a “lab e-newspaper,” with the dual purpose of informing Carrboro residents while providing journalism students with real-life, real-time experience under the full glare of public opinion. Instead of talking about community journalism, we’re doing community journalism. Such project-based learning is not without its risks though.

There will be, and have been mistakes. But be sure, when we make a fumble, we will acknowledge it immediately and publicly in the spirit of transparency. I look upon such stumbles as teachable moments and learning experiences.

That being said, enjoy the Commons, and give us your feedback and comments as you see fit. To register, go to and find the link to register beneath the spreading green tree logo.

Jock Lauterer teaches community journalism at the University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication where he can be reached at 962-6421 or The Carrboro Commons is a project of the JOMC 459 Community Journalism class.

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3 Responses

  1. tarheelcoxn
    tarheelcoxn at |

    I like to say “Carrborians” when referring to myself and my neighbors. 🙂

    As SILS student at UNC, I’m happy I stumbled across this blog. You have Scooters, Inc. to thank for that.


  2. gsara
    gsara at |

    The articles look great! Can’t wait to read more this semester!

    – Sara Gregory

  3. jock
    jock at |

    Hey, yes. I had a scooter in high school. A Carolina Blue Vespa. How sweet!
    And now I am a Carrburrito my own self! Imagine that.

    And to Sara: thanks, kiddo. It was great getting to work with you at the Pilot of Southern Pines during the coverage of the the US Women’s Open Golf Championship this summer at Pinehurst.

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