Ilyssa Daly, an investigative reporter for the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting at Mississippi Today, has been selected for The New York Times’ inaugural class of the Local Investigations Fellowship.

The program, which is being led by Dean Baquet, the former executive editor of The New York Times, gives journalists the opportunity to produce signature investigative work focused on their state or region that will be published by The Times and made available for free for co-publication by local newsrooms. 

“This is a remarkable group of reporters,” Baquet said, “and their work will have an impact on their communities.”

Daly is among the three fellows based in Mississippi, who are the first Times employees to be hired in the state. Additional fellows hail from Hawaii, Maine, Maryland and Wisconsin. All will report from the communities where they live. 

“The hard and expensive work of investigative reporting at the local level is rarer and more needed than ever,” said A.G. Sulzberger, chairman and publisher of The Times. “We’re excited to play our part by helping these journalists tackle consequential questions in their communities and learn valuable new skills that will serve them for years to come.”

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, Ilyssa received honors from the Stabile Center and for her thesis. She also won the Fred M. Hechinger Journalism Education Award for her reporting on HIV preventative peer education programs in prisons throughout New York. 

Her love of investigative reporting stems from her time as an undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence College, where she was a recipient of The Lori Hertzberg Prize for Creativity for her work in investigating possible cases of wrongful conviction. She will report on local law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

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