A Tale of Two Skylines

Four decades after committing to a dense, towering downtown, Charlotte has a lot of lessons to offer Raleigh—but the capital city has a different vision.

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Rooted in East Winston

Michael Banner is teaching his neighbors to grow their own food as a means of building self-reliance in Winston-Salem’s food-insecure neighborhoods.


A new collection of essays by the late North Carolina author Randall Kenan offers a portrait of a writer who moved seamlessly between identities and styles.

The New Judge in Town

An independent state office that functions like a court has long had a reputation for stability and impartiality. But its new leader, with help from the legislature, is making waves and consolidating power.

Who we are

The Assembly is a digital magazine about the people, institutions, and ideas that shape North Carolina. Founded in 2021, we feature interesting, deeply reported, nuanced stories about our state. 

We’re telling big stories and giving our journalists space to be ambitious. We want everything published at The Assembly to surprise, inform, and leave you with a better understanding than when you started. 

Latest Stories

The Dutiful Son

As a candidate for the state House of Representatives, John Harris has to break out of the shadow of the 2018 ballot-harvesting scandal that implicated his father, Mark Harris, and made them both national figures.

A Low Bar

North Carolina courts are working through a backlog of more than 800,000 criminal cases. But some counties are so short on lawyers that they’ve become “legal deserts” – and state officials have few plans to fill the void.

Bad Environment

A veteran human resources officer says she told former state environmental secretary Michael Regan, who now leads the EPA, that his deputy used racist language, and that Regan covered up the allegation. He says that’s not true.

Featured Stories

Schism in the Body

After years of acrimonious debate, the United Methodist Church has started to rupture. One church—with members ranging from ‘flaming progressive to dang near fundamentalist’—tries to reconcile an increasingly unavoidable divide.

King of The Road

Last year, the Burlington City Council unanimously supported transforming a bleak avenue leading from the interstate to downtown. Then power broker Sam Hunt derailed the plan—and helped exile the three-term mayor.

Is WUNC Ready to Turn It Up?

North Carolina’s largest public radio station has banked $20 million in cash with strong broadcast numbers and listener support, but it has also left gaps. Now WUNC is seeking a new president, and a vision for moving forward, in a shifting universe of local news and media.