The Charlotte Observer has continued throughout its years of service to Charlotte and the surrounding communities, to accurately reflect the region and what matters to the local residents. The Observer heavily covers development and schools—factors strongly affected by rampant growth in the city and the region—and continues deep coverage of the area's traditional interests: banking, business, industry, religion, and stock-car racing. The paper tackles controversial economic and social issues and is innovative in creating new products such as the niche site, Charlotte Five, a publication serving young adults interested in nightlife, local development, culture, and causes that are important to them. The Charlotte Observer staff has won four Pulitzer Prizes, including two Gold Medals for Public Service.

In 2020, McClatchy transitioned to private ownership when it was acquired by Chatham Asset Management. The Chatham acquisition marked the beginning of a new era of opportunity for McClatchy, strengthening the Company's financial position and enabling it to build on its 150-plus year history of independent, community-focused journalism by investing in local newsrooms.