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WUNC Politics

The WUNCPolitics Podcast is a free-flowing discussion of what we're hearing in the back hallways of the General Assembly and on the campaign trail across North Carolina. 

Latest Episodes
  • Republican state senators passed three new measures along party lines that aim to change North Carolina election law. Meanwhile in the state house, a long-awaited 47-page energy bill made a controversial debut, and municipalities around the state celebrate Juneteenth for the first time against the backdrop of ongoing conversations about how to teach history in public schools.
  • Host Charlie-Shelton Ormond explores how a multimillion dollar jail expansion proposal in Haywood County is causing a rift within the community and raising questions about the importance of rehabilitation and the effectiveness of incarceration.
  • It is a busy week in North Carolina Politics. Former President Donald Trump headlines the NCGOP Convention in Greenville; there are new revelations in the Nikole Hannah-Jones saga; and at the General Assembly: the governor’s pick to oversee environmental issues was turned away as budget talks remain stalled. Host Jeff Tiberii talks with Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation about the state political stories of the week.
  • Host Dave DeWitt speaks with WUNC education reporter Liz Schlemmer about the ongoing tenure controversy involving Nikole Hannah-Jones and UNC-Chapel Hill.
  • After a year of protests in the name of racial justice, North Carolina legislators are considering bills that could significantly increase the penalty for engaging in riots. In this episode, WUNC's Rusty Jacobs reports on how pending legislation could affect both the future of demonstrations and relations between protesters and police.
  • WUNC's Will Michaels examines how an early morning fire in Chapel Hill on May 12, 1996 changed the trajectory of dozens of lives and became a catalyst for change in fire safety ordinances across the country.
  • WUNC's Rusty Jacobs looks at what voters changing their Republican and Democratic party affiliations means for future elections in North Carolina and the South.
  • Guest host Will Michaels returns from a reporting trip to Elizabeth City, NC where a community is contending with the recent police killing of Andrew Brown Jr. There is body camera footage of the incident, but who gets to see the tape and how much of it is made available is up to a controversial state law. | Support this show with a donation at
  • A voter ID law is on trial again in North Carolina. Is it in line with the Constitution this time? Or is it once again targeting Black voters? Guest host Will Michaels talks to reporter Rusty Jacobs about the history of voter ID in the state and what arguments activists, lawyers and lawmakers have made before the court in the past two weeks. | Support this show with a donation to
  • Synthesizing American history is not a simple exercise. What periods, figures, and narratives should emerge in public school classrooms, and who gets to decide? Republicans are decrying some educational standards as having a leftist bent, lacking patriotism. While educators, and advocates for a more complete narrative say we must trust the teachers. On this episode of The Politics Podcast teaching our complicated history to our youth.