Mississippi Today is pleased to announce two new members of the Mississippi Today team, marketing professional Candi Richardson and reporter Kate Royals. 

Candi Richardson joins Mississippi Today as the organization’s first Sales & Marketing Director, with more than 12 years experience in digital marketing sales, corporate relations and marketing management. Richardson previously served as Corporate Relations Director for United Way of Metro Jackson. 

“Throughout our nation’s history, the role of the press in achieving social, political and economic reform has been critical,” said Richardson. “Having the opportunity to work towards progress in my own state, supporting an institution that fights for a better Mississippi, is truly humbling.”

Richardson has received numerous sales awards and distinctions for her work at both United Way and at The Clarion Ledger Media Group. A native of Greenville, Miss., she holds a Bachelor’s in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology and a Master’s in Communications, both from The University of Southern Mississippi. 

“From my first time meeting Candi, I knew immediately she was the right person to spearhead our strategy for sales and marketing expansion,” said Mary Margaret White, Mississippi Today CEO and Executive Director. “Candi has a keen marketing mind and fundamentally understands the value of good journalism to civic engagement and democracy. Her experience in both digital media and corporate relations makes her the perfect fit for our mission-driven, nonprofit newsroom.” 

Kate Royals will serve as Lead Education reporter, covering K-12 schools and higher education alongside the Delta Bureau of education reporters. She will also collaborate with Mississippi Today’s political team to build strategy for statewide education coverage. Royals returns to Mississippi Today, where she served as an education reporter from 2016-2018. She most recently worked as a public information officer at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. 

“I am thrilled to be back at Mississippi Today covering education,” said Royals. “With many benchmarks in public education improving over the last several years, this is a critical period for Mississippi schools. COVID-19 has added extra challenges for students, parents and educators, making this an extraordinary time to be an education reporter. I am so excited to be back in the mix.”

Royals formerly worked as a reporter for The Clarion Ledger covering education and state government. She won awards for her investigative work, including stories about the state’s campaign finance laws and prison system. She was a news producer at MassLive in Springfield, Mass., after graduating from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communications with a master’s degree in communications. 

“Kate helped grow Mississippi Today into what it is today, and I couldn’t be more thrilled that she’s back in the newsroom with us,” said Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today Editor-in-Chief. “She’s one of the most respected and decorated reporters in the South, and she’ll immediately help boost our coverage of public education during the pandemic and ahead of the 2020 election.”