Mississippi Today is pleased to announce Julia James and Richard Lake as 2021 Summer Interns.

Julia James will be serving as Investigative Reporting Intern, working closely with Mississippi Today’s poverty and investigative reporter Anna Wolfe. James is a recent graduate of the University of Mississippi, where she studied journalism and public policy. She has been published in The New York Times, Mississippi Today, and the Clarion-Ledger. James is from Mandeville, Louisiana. 

Julia James

“Since moving to Mississippi, I have always been inspired by the careful and comprehensive reporting produced by the Mississippi Today newsroom,” said James. “I am excited to be able to learn from and participate in that process. I am also excited specifically to strengthen my investigative reporting skills and to have the opportunity to take the lead on larger reporting projects.”

In 2020, James interned with the Mississippi Center for Justice. From 2018-2019, James interned with the Prison-to-College Pipeline Program, teaching college classes to incarcerated persons in correctional facilities in Mississippi. During that time, she interviewed more than 30 students about their experiences in the program and created a website and newsletter for the student’s writing projects. 

“Julia will be pulling records, gathering data and conducting shoe-leather reporting for stories impacting some of the state’s most vulnerable students and workers,” said Wolfe. “I can’t wait to see what she uncovers.”

Mississippi State University rising senior Richard Lake will be serving as Audience Engagement Intern as part of his year-two placement in the Mississippi Today + NBC News Internship program. During the summer of 2019, Lake served as an intern with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports. This summer, he will work with the Mississippi Today audience team and focus on helping reach younger and more diverse audiences. Lake is the host of the Undecided podcast, an exploration of all things sports, politics, pop culture and music. 

Richard Lake

“Being able to intern at a newsroom that focuses on transparency, integrity, and most importantly accuracy is what is most important to me,” said Lake. “I was drawn to Mississippi Today for the opportunity to continue to accurately represent this state, and its population.” 

The Mississippi Today Audience Team serves as a bridge between the editorial and business sides of the newsroom, managing a range of projects from social media, newsletters and web presentation, to community listening, engagement reporting and reader loyalty. 

“The Audience Team has some exciting projects in the works, many of which are focused on reaching younger, more diverse readers,” said Hambuchen. “Richard brings a fresh perspective to this work and we’re excited to collaborate with him on a variety of things such as our new video series, podcast projects, social media initiatives and more.”


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