2021 was a year for the history books in Mississippi. Again and again, the state found itself making headlines across the nation and through it all, Mississippi Today was there.

A Mississippi law is at the center of a landmark legal case that could rewrite abortion laws for the entire nation. The state’s Supreme Court struck down the ballot initiative process. Our governor and legislative leaders couldn’t agree on a medical marijuana program that a vast majority of voters approved at the polls. As our newsroom covered these events and more, we always worked to center the lived experiences of everyday Mississippians in our coverage.

It’s why we launched MT Listens, a community listening program designed to help us learn how to report for readers and not about them. It’s a commitment to build a more diverse readership by targeting five specific communities across the state.

We lived through the personal and professional challenges of covering the darkest moments of the pandemic. We covered positive stories like massive corporations moving their headquarters to the state and Mississippi State winning a national baseball championship. We covered more challenging stories including a series on domestic violence, the murder of a former elected official, and the ongoing fallout of the state’s largest embezzlement case in history.

As the COVID-19 delta wave ripped through our state, the Mississippi Today newsroom sprang into action. We sent reporters into a field hospital erected in a parking garage. We asked the state’s top medical and government officials tough questions and launched a Vaccine Guide to provide you, the reader, with knowledge and information to better navigate these uncertain times.

We continue to reflect on who we are and who we need to be, and this introspection has resulted in several projects and initiatives that we hope will make us better and grow our state. Our core mission is to hold those in power accountable. That’s why we launched “Follow the Money,” a project that will closely follow what Mississippi does with billions of dollars of federal funds recently awarded to the state. We see it as our responsibility to closely track what leaders do with this once in a lifetime influx of cash, and hold them accountable.

Thank you for reading and engaging with us this year. We are proud to report to you.

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Kayleigh Skinner joined the Mississippi Today team in January 2017 as an education and legislative reporter and advanced to a senior staff member in her four years with the company. Before joining Mississippi Today, Kayleigh worked at The Hechinger Report, Chalkbeat Tennessee, and The Commercial Appeal. She has appeared on MSNBC, NPR, and BBC Newsday Radio to discuss her reporting.

Adam Ganucheau, as Mississippi Today's editor-in-chief, oversees the newsroom and works with the editorial team to fulfill our mission of producing high-quality journalism in the public interest. Adam has covered politics and state government for Mississippi Today since February 2016. A native of Hazlehurst, Adam has worked as a staff reporter for AL.com, The Birmingham News and The Clarion-Ledger and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Adam earned his bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Mississippi.