Mississippi Today has been chosen to be part of the Google News Initiative‘s Product Lab, which will help build an organization-wide commitment to product.

“Mississippi Today launched as an online news source in 2016, and over the past five years, we have been committed to delivering the best journalism and digital experience for our readers,” said Mississippi Today CEO Mary Margaret White. “We established a dedicated audience team in 2020, and this group of innovative professionals has kept our newsroom at the forefront of industry trends and changes.”

The audience team is:

  • Lauchlin Fields, Audience Development Director
  • Alyssa Bass, Product Engagement Coordinator
  • Nigel Dent, Audience Journalist
  • Bethany Atkinson, Community Manager

White and Candi Richardson, Mississippi Today’s sales and marketing director, are also participating in the lab, which has allowed the audience team to develop cross-functional strategies for the organization, all centered on product and audience.

As an organization committed to understanding our audience, Mississippi Today is committed to developing product strategies that address readers’ needs, nurturing our product with an iterative and data-guided approach and establishing an organizational culture of collaboration and communication to make successful products.

“GNI’s Product Lab is giving our audience team the tools we need to build an innovative audience-centered and resilient product culture to help create a more sustainable future for Mississippi Today,” Fields said.

The GNI Product Lab is part of the Google News Initiative Digital Growth Program, which provides free playbooks, interactive exercises, digital workshops and labs to help further achieve digital success. Mississippi Today is one of 14 applicant’s selected for the 14-week program.

The cohort includes local, regional and national news outlets, including The Atlanta Voice, Community Impact Newspaper, Newnan Times-Herald, Precinct Reporter News, Le Soleil, and Winnipeg Free Press, Great West Media, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Minnesota Women’s Press, Texas Metro News, VTDigger, Inside Higher Ed and Native News Online.

“I am proud of the Mississippi Today audience team for earning a place in the Google News Initiative Digital Growth Program’s (Product Lab),” White said. “We are excited to incorporate these learnings into our everyday workflows.”

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