Mississippi Today is pleased to announce three new members of the Mississippi Today team: Vickie King, photojournalist; Brittany Brown, the inaugural recipient of the Mississippi Today Emerging Reporters Fellowship; and Alyssa Bass, product engagement coordinator.
King, a veteran photojournalist, joins Mississippi Today after working for more than two decades as a senior photographer at The Clarion Ledger. Most recently, King served as a staff officer producing visual content at the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
A Pulitzer-nominee with more than 30 years of news photography experience, King has shot everything from natural disasters to sporting events to a papal visit. She will work alongside the editorial team to anchor and grow the newsroom’s visual storytelling through photo essays and video.
“Mississippi is a grand state, rich in culture and history,” King said. “Mississippi Today provides me an opportunity to take her people with me as I document their lives and stories through my lens.”
Brown is the first recipient of Mississippi Today’s Emerging Reporter Fellowship, which aims to promote diversity in journalism by helping to create a pipeline of young investigative reporters of color who want to stay and work in Mississippi. During her eight-month fellowship, Brown will report on criminal justice issues.
A Quitman native who is currently completing her master’s degree in Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi, Brown previously interned for The Baltimore Sun’s breaking news desk and completed an investigative reporting fellowship with Carnegie-Knight News21, where she produced an award-winning documentary about hate crimes in the U.S.
Brown also reported on the ground in Puerto Rico during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
“At the core of my work is a commitment to justice and equity while centering and uplifting the voices of those who are often unheard,” Brown said. “In my home state of Mississippi, we have a rich tradition of storytelling and need for stories to be told. Mississippi Today provides me the opportunity to do just that.”
King and Brown, working in the newsroom, will help fill critical journalistic needs in Mississippi.
“Good visuals are necessary to effectively telling Mississippi stories, and Vickie brings with her a trove of experience and a profound ability to relate to Mississippians,” said Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today’s editor in chief. “She’s going to immediately make our journalism more relatable and compelling, and I can’t wait for everyone to see her work.”
“And the justice system remains one of the most important but chronically undercovered issues in the state,” Ganucheau continued. “Brittany’s interests and academic expertise align perfectly with our mission of holding leaders accountable — and no leaders need accountability more than the ones who oversee our justice system that has often and needlessly harmed too many Mississippians.”
Bass joins Mississippi Today as the newest member of the audience team and will work to grow and engage with our audience through social media, newsletters and other platforms. She will also work to enhance and market our brand. She is a recent graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in Black studies and served as executive editor of The Student Printz, the student newspaper on campus.
She interned with Mississippi Today’s marketing and engagement team in 2019 and most recently served as an Emma Bowen Fellow for PBS FRONTLINE.
“As someone who started their journalism career as a reporter, I understand the value of telling meaningful stories,” Bass said. “However, I know that the value of those stories gets diminished if the communities who need them the most don’t have access to them. Helping Mississippians get engaged in the news that impacts their everyday lives is an honor, and I am proud to be a part of a team that values community feedback and partnership.”
“I am beyond thrilled to have Alyssa join our new dedicated audience team. Her background as a reporter and editor with a keen interest in connecting people with news that matters to them and their communities makes her a perfect fit in this role,” said Mississippi Today’s Audience Development Director Lauchlin Fields. “I look forward to working with Alyssa as we deepen engagement with our readers and build a more diverse and informed audience.”