about us

Greetings! Thank you for visiting The Lenoir Voice.

The Lenoir Voice is co-owned and operated by Abigail Taylor and Michael Barrick.

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The Lenoir Voice is a media social enterprise serving the people of Lenoir and beyond as “The Independent Voice of Western North Carolina.”

By operating as a social enterprise, our focus is not profit, but engagement with our neighbors and communities. Through this ongoing engagement, we seek to educate and embolden the people of Western North Carolina regarding the vital issues confronting us, as well as featuring the many artistic, musical, historic and cultural opportunities in Lenoir and the region.

Through this publication, we provide news coverage, analysis, enterprise reporting and op-ed columns about: the ecology; minority affairs; art, music and theater; government, politics and business; education; and, faith and values.

We have started this online publication for several reasons.

We believe your local news source should be locally-owned. In the age of media conglomerates, most local newspapers are not really local; as such, ownership does not have a vested interest in the growth and success of the community. Newspapers owned by out-of- state media conglomerates are drained by the home office and shareholders. Hence, without reinvesting in their people and resources, the local newspaper is no longer able or willing to provide proper news coverage.

We believe your local news source should be independent. While we welcome advertisers, we will never compromise reporting to please an advertiser. We have seen in Western North Carolina what happens when a mono-economy – in our case, furniture and textiles – is allowed to control and dominate a region. When and industry leaves, so do the people. An independent press ensures that people will be informed of the consequences of boom-and-bust economies and other vital issues that are ignored to please advertisers.

We believe your community news, for too long, has been squeezed aside by coverage of murder, madness and mayhem that do not greatly impact your life but are designed to play on your emotions. We know that the true news is to be found on street corners, hollows, restaurants, barber shops and everywhere else ordinary people congregate. These “ordinary” people always have an extraordinary story to tell. We seek out these folks to inspire you to make a difference in your community.

Finally, believing that public engagement and discourse, as well as the creative and performing arts, help ignite a spirit of peace in a community, we partner with like-minded people and organizations to provide events, concerts, workshops and other activities to engage our neighbors so that we can continue to build a community that welcomes and includes all.

We thank you for reading and we ask that you subscribe now so that you can begin receiving news and information from The Lenoir Voice, “The Independent Voice of Western North Carolina.”

UPDATE: April 3, 2018: I am serving as Campaign / Communications Director for Art Sherwood, the Democratic candidate for North Carolina Senate District 46, which includes 3 Appalachian counties – Avery, Burke and Caldwell. I am also Political Director for the Caldwell County Democratic Party. These activities are consistent with my objective to support progressive environmental and social justice policies in North Carolina. 

Impartiality is no longer an option. While it’s not news, 2016 reminded us that elections matter. How we care for the poor and vulnerable, how we protect the sacred earth which sustains us, how we protect human rights, how we care for the alien among us, how we defend voting rights, and how we treat each other in the body politic and the “public square” of social media, require that I choose a side. – MB

© The Lenoir Voice, 2016.