Mississippi Today is uniting forces with the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting (MCIR) to bring you the best in watchdog and investigative reporting.

Jerry Mitchell

Mississippi Today is pleased to announce that MCIR founder and award-winning investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell is joining the Mississippi Today team, as well as investigative reporter Ilyssa Daly. Debbie Skipper, veteran newspaper editor and former Managing Editor at MCIR, joined the Mississippi Today newsroom in October as Justice and Special Projects Editor. 

“We are thrilled to have the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting at Mississippi Today,” said Mary Margaret White, Mississippi Today CEO. “MCIR has long been a collaborative partner of our newsroom, and I’m thrilled to see the great reporting that comes from having us all under one roof.” 

Since 2019, MCIR’s stories have resulted in a Justice Department investigation of the state’s prison system and an FBI probe into a possible homicide in police custody. MCIR’s story exposed revelations from the secret memoir of the white woman at the center of the Emmett Till case, leading to a new grand jury hearing the case. A day after MCIR published a secret recording capturing the racist and homophobic remarks of a Mississippi police chief, he was fired.

“I couldn’t be more excited about joining forces with Mississippi Today,” said Mitchell. “There are so many tremendously talented journalists at Mississippi Today. I can’t say enough good things about investigative reporter Anna Wolfe, who has torn the lid off of this welfare scandal. Her work is nothing short of phenomenal.”

Mitchell, MCIR’s founder, has won more than 30 national awards, including a MacArthur “genius” grant. He is the author of Race Against Time, which tells the story of the courageous families who fought for justice in some of the nation’s most notorious crimes.

Ilyssa Daly, left, and Jerry Mitchell Credit: Rory Doyle

MCIR investigative reporter Ilyssa Daly is a 2022 graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she specialized in investigative reporting at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. At Columbia, she received honors from the Stabile Center and won the Fred M. Hechinger Journalism Education Award for her reporting on HIV preventative peer education programs in prisons throughout New York. She got her start in investigative journalism at Sarah Lawrence College, where she began leading investigations into two-decade-old cases of possible wrongful convictions. There, she was a recipient of The Lori Hertzberg Prize for Creativity for her investigative work.

This year, Mitchell and Daly are working on an investigative project that takes a deep dive into the criminal justice system in Mississippi. The duo is also working alongside the Mississippi Today justice team on an investigation with CBS News. 

Together, Mississippi Today and MCIR are shining a light into the darkness and delivering the watchdog and investigative reporting that Mississippians need to make informed decisions.

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The stories of investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell have helped put four Klansmen and a serial killer behind bars. His stories have also helped free two people from death row, exposed injustices and corruption, prompting investigations and reforms as well as the firings of boards and officials. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a longtime member of Investigative Reporters & Editors, and a winner of more than 30 other national awards, including a $500,000 MacArthur “genius” grant. After working for three decades for the statewide Clarion-Ledger, Mitchell left in 2019 and founded the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting.