Asking us to pick our favorite stories of 2022 is like asking us to pick a favorite child. We like them all for different reasons!

But forced to choose, we came up with our top 12.

Before we get to that, we have an ask. If you’re enjoying the deep reporting on power and place that The Assembly brings you each week, please consider becoming a subscriber.

Without further delay, here are some of our favorites from this year:

“The Gospel According to Mark Robinson”

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is already one of the state’s most influential politicians, and will only become more so as likely launches a gubernatorial bid. Tim Funk’s piece looks at his theology, drawing upon a wide net of experts across the theological and political spectrum.

“The Mayor and Her Discontents”

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin won reelection, but it was a lot tighter race than an incumbent can usually expect. This story was as much a profile as an inside look at the city’s fights over housing and development.

“Tim Moore’s Heavy Hand”

This story about how House Speaker Tim Moore tried to sway the selection of a chancellor at UNC Wilmington generated the most reader response this year – and, we’ve heard, a fair amount of hand-wringing in the higher echelons of power.

“Who’s Your People”

Julian Brave Noisecat is a lyrical, poignant writer, and we’re so glad he brought that to bear here in North Carolina writing about federal recognition of the state’s Lumbee tribe.

“Lorrin Freeman’s Last Stand”

We’re pretty sure Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman speaks reporter Jeffrey Billman’s name into the night, Arya Stark style. This story on her prosecution of Attorney General Josh Stein was just one reason.

“Schism in The Body”

What happens when a church comes apart at the seams? Barry Yeoman takes a look at the United Methodist Church’s increasingly unavoidable divide, with his characteristic sensitivity and curiosity.

“King of the Road”

A big-time player gets his way in a small town, a tale both ordinary and unexpected.

“The Lithium War Next Door”

We loved co-publishing this with our friends at HuffPost, who brought the national perspective to a local story about a lithium mining startup targeting Gaston County.

“A $1.25 Billion Bet”

A massive amount of philanthropic money is flooding into New Hanover, the state’s second-smallest county. A lot could go right, but it could also go wrong – and all eyes are on CEO William Buster.

“The Soul Truth”

Religion is central to so many people’s lives, but is also an area poorly covered – and understood – in most journalism. We’re so glad we had Molly Worthen covering The Summit Church and its charismatic pastor, J.D. Greear, with deep context and compassion.

“Is WUNC Ready to Turn It Up?”

North Carolina’s largest public radio station has banked $20 million in cash, but what it wants to do with that has been unclear. Now that WUNC finally has a new president and general manager, this story is even more relevant.

“A Higher Ed Subsidy from the Right”

Higher ed continues to be an under-covered but highly important topic in our state, one we are committed to going deep on. This story on the state’s signature college affordability program is just one great example.