Community Owned. Local News. Burke County, NC.

Welcome to The Paper!

We're Burke County's complete source for local news


We are delighted to introduce The Paper, a full-fledged community newspaper that is dedicated to only local news.


Published on Saturdays, The Paper is owned locally, managed locally, written locally, and wholly dedicated to Burke County’s people, places, schools, businesses, sports, activities, entertainment, governments, and celebrations.


In other words, if you want regional, national or global news, look elsewhere. If you want comprehensive, smart, thorough Burke County news, The Paper is for you.


The Paper has been thoughtfully planned — and strategically staffed by award-winning professionals — to return to Burke County a locally-owned newspaper that is devoted to just us. 


The Paper is community-owned through memberships and local investors.


A Burke County newspaper that publishes exclusively local news has not existed since the 1970s when J.D. Fitz and W. Stanley Moore ran The News Herald. Since then, an ongoing string of out-of-state owners has gradually but consistently eroded local coverage.


“Aggressive cost-cutting pursued by some of the nation’s largest local newspaper holding companies is also to blame for the local news crisis that confronts thousands of communities across the U.S.,” The Brookings Institute reported recently.


A proven and adaptable community newspaper model is emerging across the country, especially in rural areas. It invites readers to take part in ownership and direction through membership subscriptions.


It blends the best of for-profit and not-for-profit practices creating transparency of operations and additional revenue streams. The Paper is founded on this concept of shared and dedicated participation.


“Newspapers are not just the backbone of local journalism,” said Bill Poteat, Editor of The Paper. “They are also the glue which serves to hold communities together. The ongoing erosion of out-of-town chain ownership has ruined consistent and deep coverage of local residents’ lives and their political institutions, from school boards to state legislatures. With The Paper, we are strengthening local, professional coverage and tightening our community newspaper’s trust and relationship to Burke County communities.”


The Paper’s newsroom is open to the public, 110 S. Sterling St., Morganton. The Paper’s staff are all pros, former editors and award winners alike. Our subscription and ad rates are straight-up, and comprehensible. None of this variable pricing nonsense that changes rates depending on your address.


We take editorial stances on local issues that are smart and reasoned. Our Opinion page serves as a debate page, too. We welcome opinion pieces that are smart and reasoned. We invite letters to the editor. There is no story too small or too large. As long as they are local stories about local people. (Grow a tomato that looks like J Edgar Hoover? Bring it in. We’ll feature it.)


Welcome to the Paper!