At Mississippi Today, we believe nonprofit journalism has the power to create a more informed Mississippi.

This year, our staff worked together to create resources to address the information needs of Mississippians. Our COVID-19 in Mississippi Vaccine Guide, MT Speaks video series, weekly Data Dives and COVID Town Hall virtual event were all created to provide vital news and data to help Mississippians lead safer and more informed lives.

Enterprising. Evolving. Resilient. Thorough. Diligent. Fierce. Consistent.

These are just a few of the words our staff offered up to describe Mississippi Today in 2021. We couldn’t agree more.

Throughout 2021, we have doubled down on our commitment to centering the lived experiences of Mississippians in our reporting, offering you, our readers, more ways to connect with our journalists and inform our coverage.

Using the power of data, first-person reporting and subject matter expertise, Mississippi Today has become the flagship for journalism that has real impact in our state. Our ongoing investigation into the state’s misspending of $77 million in public assistance dollars has unlocked larger conversations on welfare spending, including a change in policy that pays families first.

Our continued education coverage has given you clarity on what educators and students face in the wake of the pandemic and how school boards and lawmakers are prioritizing these issues. For the first time in years, the Mississippi Today newsroom has provided our state with a higher education reporter, whose coverage of colleges, universities and the Institute for Higher Learning has given voice to students most impacted by financial aid policy.

Mississippi Today has built its brand on watchdog reporting of the state Capitol, relentlessly covering how politics and special interests shape Mississippi. In November we launched our Follow the Money series to closely monitor spending of an unprecedented influx of billions in federal dollars.

We hope you’ll take some time to look back at the coverage you made possible throughout 2021 through our recap.

A Look Back: Mississippi Today in 2021 — the Year in News

The funding we raise during NewsMatch, our year-end fundraising campaign, will set us up for 2022 — sustaining the kind of journalism that you’ve come to expect from us and making possible some new ventures.

We have big plans for next year, including:

  • A comprehensive legislative guide, text line and newsletter dedicated to our statehouse coverage
  • Continuing to follow how Mississippi is spending $6 billion in federal stimulus funds
  • Doubling down on our health coverage including expanding our health reporting team
  • Planning more events like our COVID Community Town Hall
  • And much, much more …

Without you, this list is just a list. We need support from readers like you who believe nonprofit news puts the power where it belongs, with the people.

You can be assured that our team, the state’s first and most trusted nonprofit newsroom, is here to help make sense of what is happening in Mississippi, and to give you a bit of levity, too. Here’s hoping for more laughs from Marshall Ramsey in 2022, and more SWAC and CWS wins with Rick Cleveland, both of whom you can catch weekly on their respective Mississippi Today podcasts: Mississippi Stories and Crooked Letter Sports.

We know that this work matters to you and Mississippi.

We are so grateful to share we have reached our year-end fundraising goal of $50,000 thanks to our loyal readers. Let’s keep it going during this final week of the year! If you give before December 31, your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Maddox Foundation.

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Lauchlin FieldsAudience Development Director

Lauchlin leads a dedicated team of audience journalists focused on distributing news, growing and engaging with our audiences, creating news products and enhancing our reader revenue program. She works closely with all Mississippi Today staff to put audience and product at the center of the organization. A former newspaper reporter and magazine publisher, Lauchlin served as web manager for Mississippi Today before the site launched in 2016, a role she maintained until joining the team full-time as web editor August 2017.

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Mary Margaret White

Mary Margaret is the CEO of Mississippi Today. She works closely with the Mississippi Today leadership team to ensure collaboration and mission alignment throughout our nonprofit newsroom. Mary Margaret builds relationships with foundations, grant makers and impact donors to ensure reporters have the financial support they need to do their work.