Asheville Watchdog's Down Town series helped spur the city to launch a downtown safety initiative. // City of Asheville

Asheville Watchdog has been named a finalist for a national journalism award by the Institute for Nonprofit News.

The Watchdog’s Down Town series is one of four finalists for the Best Investigative Journalism Award. Reporters Sally Kestin, John Boyle, Andrew R. Jones, and Tom Fiedler; database editor John Maines; and photographer Starr Sariego teamed up on the 12-part project, which focused on crime, homelessness, and other problems plaguing downtown Asheville. The series also explored potential solutions to stem downtown’s decline and helped spur the city to launch a downtown safety initiative.

The series was edited by Peter Lewis, then managing editor. He has since been named The Watchdog’s executive editor.

The Institute for Nonprofit News represents more than 425 independent news organizations dedicated to public service. The Watchdog competed in the Micro Division of the INN contest, which celebrates excellence in nonprofit journalism. Winners will be announced Aug. 23 in Philadelphia.

The Watchdog’s Equity Erased series won INN’s Best Investigative Journalism Award in 2022.

Asheville Watchdog is a nonprofit news team producing stories that matter to Asheville and Buncombe County. Keith Campbell is the managing editor of The Watchdog. Email To show your support for this vital public service go to

17 replies on “Asheville Watchdog named finalist for national investigative journalism award”

  1. Congratulations ! The Asheville Watchdog is probably the best thing that has happened to this city in awhile.

    Thank you,

    Richard McKinley

  2. Bravo! Your publication has become must-reading! I’m so glad you’re getting the attention you deserve for the superb writing ! Perhaps city officials are following your work, now!

  3. As before, well-deserved! Support AVL Watchdog…they are helping move Asheville in the right direction!

  4. Congratulations on being named a finalist for this important national journalism award. For those who are curious about the other finalists, you can find the full list at: You will have to hunt around a bit for the link that says “See this year’s finalists!” That is where the full list for all categories and sizes is given.

  5. That series has a great chance at a Pulitzer! I’ve read every story in the series — and each was so well reported. Congrats on your successes.

  6. Excellent coverage of Asheville every week, SO glad I got rid of my Citizen Times subscription, that is a worthless & biased publication.
    Really enjoy reading all your stories and reporting, keep up the good work!

    1. I hear you, Nancy. I noticed many stories marked “Local” in the A-CT are actually not at all local, sometimes taking place as far away as Wilmington! …Not why I read/want a local/regional paper.

  7. Yes, well deserved. The watchdog is making a huge positive impact and is forcing our local government to explain some things. Accountability and sunlight on some shady areas is always a good thing.

  8. Yes, congratulations on being a finalist, and you certainly deserve to win. Again!
    Great work that I appreciate.

  9. You should publish all twelve articles in a volume so voters can use as a reference in the next City Council election!

  10. Well deserved! Always a pleasure to read – always well done and thorough – a real asset for Asheville!

Comments are closed.