By D.G. Martin D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which airs Sundays at noon and Thursdays at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV. For more information or to view prior programs visit
  • Would a name change be enough?

    February 23, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Should Fayetteville State University, the state’s oldest public HBCU (historically black college or university), change its name to the University of North Carolina at Fayetteville? Last week The Fayetteville Observer reported that the name change was being considered in the General Assembly. The proposed name change drew mixed reactions from the school’s alumni and students. […]

  • Lee Smith’s best story yet

    February 16, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Lee Smith’s upcoming book, “Dimestore: A Writer’s Life,” tells her best story yet. After publishing 13 novels and numerous short stories that have won for her a passionately loyal group of fans and friends, the best-selling Hillsborough author has written a memoir, her first non-fiction book. It turns out that the real stories she tells […]

  • Discarding unelectable candidates, but holding on to their supporters’ enthusiasm

    February 9, 2016 at 1:00 am

    The trick to winning elections, old political warhorses say, is to rally the enthusiasm of the young, the idealistic, and the angry crazies, without getting stuck with a presidential candidate who cannot be stomached by the voters in the middle, the persuadables who decide elections. The Democrats found such a candidate in 2008 in Barack […]

  • Coughs and sneezes about campus monuments and names

    February 2, 2016 at 1:00 am

    “When America catches a cold, Britain sneezes — eventually.” Writing in The New York Times, Matthew d’Ancona, a graduate of Britain’s Oxford University and columnist for British papers, The Guardian and The Daily Evening Standard, reported, “The argument about the proper limits of free speech and ‘political correctness’ that has raged for years on American […]

  • Cultural Competency not just for journalists

    January 26, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Last week, as the story of African American protests over the absence of black nominees for Academy Awards was developing, Sam Fulwood explained what he learned reporting the 1992 Los Angeles riots that broke out after a jury found the police officers accused of beating Rodney King not guilty. Covering a newly created “race beat,” […]

  • Yard signs and State of the Union speeches: Wasted efforts?

    January 19, 2016 at 1:22 am

    They are a waste of time, don’t change anybody’s mind, and have little or no impact on the outcome of elections or the support of a politician. Does this comment describe the impact of political yard signs on elections or the effectiveness of speeches, such as President Obama’s State of the Union message last week? […]

  • Help me explain my love for homecooking eateries

    January 12, 2016 at 1:25 am

    My upcoming book about local, home cooking places near North Carolina’s Interstate highways has a title, “North Carolina’s Roadside Eateries: A Traveler’s Guide to Local Restaurants, Diners, and Barbecue Joints.” And, it has a new challenge to meet before the publisher, UNC Press, releases it this fall. My editors want me to revise my introduction […]

  • European history lessons for North Carolinians

    January 5, 2016 at 1:38 am

    What does a new 800-page history of 20th Century Europe have to do with North Carolina politics of the 21st Century? First, a few words about the book itself, “Out of Ashes: A New History of Europe in the Twentieth Century,” by UNC-Chapel Hill Professor Konrad Jarausch. The book describes what happened in Europe during […]

  • New Bookwatch season—off to a great start

    December 29, 2015 at 1:15 am

    One thing about the New Year is for sure, and I am celebrating it. A new season of UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch begins January 10. The first six programs of the new season include three that feature North Carolina writers who were honored recently in Raleigh at the Bouchercon 2015 World Mystery Convention: Kathy Reichs, […]

  • Remembering our own Christmas ghosts

    December 22, 2015 at 1:36 am

    I am haunted by the ghosts of Christmas past. And they are good ghosts. Mostly. These ghosts are memories that come back each season. Some are wrapped around Santa Claus. Others are centered on the baby Jesus and the miracle of his birth. Some blend the two traditions. One of my favorites is about a […]