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The Newsroom

Hosted by WHQR News Director Ben Schachtman, the program will be an opportunity for local officials and reporters -- the people who make news and the people who report it -- to talk about the issues that affect our community. According to host Ben Schachtman, "Our goal is to have candid, in-depth conversations about the topics that concern our listeners. It will be a chance to dig a little deeper into the news." From WHQR Public Media in Wilmington, NC. Contact us at Newsroom@whqr.org

Latest Episodes
  • On this episode, it's a conversation with Jon Martell, a retired doctor and former hospital administrator who says he nearly died at New Hanover Regional Medical Center — not because of a mistake made by a nurse or doctor, but because of systemic issues at the hospital. The experience led him to found a new nonprofit to push for a safer, higher-quality hospital. WHQR also spoke with top Novant medical administrators to work through some of Martell's systemic concerns.
  • Former state senator Harper Peterson recently founded Heal Our People's Endowment, a nonprofit that's calling on North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein to exercise more oversight and authority over the New Hanover Community Endowment. On this episode, we sit down to talk through his concerns — and what he'd like to see done about them.
  • The affordable housing crisis is national in scope, but it’s uniquely painful in the South because of low wages and surging demand. So what are some creative solutions to this rapidly growing and intractable problem? Backyard cottages? Flipping hotels into rental housing? Or building out job training programs? We asked smart people in the housing space what they consider the most effective strategies to improve housing with help from the New Hanover Community Endowment.
  • On this episode, Ben Schachtman and Rachel Keith sit down with John Biewen and Michael Betts, writers and co-hosts of Echoes of a Coup — the sixth season of the Scene on Radio podcast from Duke University’s Kenan Institute for Ethics. The five-part series takes a deep dive into Wilmington’s 1898 coup and massacre.
  • Last year, we reported on the abrupt closing of the Career Readiness Academy at Mosley — a little-known but beloved program in the New Hanover County Schools district. Public pushback saved the Mosley program, but developed into a debate over a 'newcomer school' for immigrants who had recently arrived in the United States, introduced as a possible replacement for Mosley. On this show, we unpack some of the narratives and misinformation that became part of that debate.
  • In honor of Sunshine Week — an annual event focused on government transparency and reporters who work to hold governments accountable for being open to the public — WECT, Port City Daily, and WHQR took a look at warrants and domestic violence protection orders. WHQR also took a closer look at a new policy aimed at giving New Hanover County school board members first crack at public documents — something that definitely isn't in keeping with the spirit of Sunshine Week.
  • North Carolina is the tenth most religious state in the union, according to U.S. News and World Report — but what does that mean for solving one of the most serious crises facing our community? In light of that question, One Christian Network came together in February to host a panel on solving the affordable housing crisis, and the role the church and people of faith can take in it. On today's show, highlights from that forum.
  • On this episode, we unpack the recent forum for Republican primary candidates running for the New Hanover County Board of Education. We’ll look at how each of the candidates tried to position themselves among their fellow conservatives. We’ll also look at some of the issues facing the district, including a staggering $20 million budget shortfall, the ongoing debate about DEI, learning loss and low-performing schools, and calls to fire superintendent Dr. Charles Foust.
  • On this episode, Republican State Senator Michael Lee sits down to discuss two pieces of major education legislation: a significant expansion to the 'Opportunity Scholarship' program, and the Parents' Bill of Rights.
  • This year, WHQR's Cape Fear Conversation series is taking a closer look at the four focus areas of the New Hanover Community Endowment. First up, community development. It's a board area that includes a lot of different facets, but for this forum we focused on housing.