Mary Margaret White
Chief Executive Officer
Mary Margaret White, a Mississippi Delta native, manages the business and development side of our nonprofit newsroom as executive director. She works closely with foundations and donors to ensure reporters have the financial support needed to do their work. She also collaborates closely with our marketing and engagement teams to make sure all outreach and promotion aligns with our mission of public service journalism. Mary Margaret began working for Mississippi Today August 2017 as the organization’s marketing and branding manager and was named executive director May 2018.
She has a bachelor’s in English and journalism and a master’s in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi. She previously worked as Tourism Development Director at Visit Mississippi and as Folk & Traditional Arts Director at Mississippi Arts Commission. Her work has appeared in The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Delta Magazine, Living Blues Magazine and The 'Sip Magazine.
She currently serves on the board of Dream Note and is an advisory board member for the Center for the Study of Southern Culture.
“Journalism like ours — in-depth, multi-sourced with a human face — is essential to a positive trajectory for our state...The work we do at Mississippi Today serves our state in the most essential way: by ensuring citizens have the best information to make good decisions for their families and communities.”
Ryan L. Nave, a native of University City, Mo., oversees the Mississippi Today newsroom and works with the editorial team to make sure we're fulfilling our mission of producing high-quality journalism in the public interest. Ryan has been with Mississippi Today since February 2016 and is an original member of the editorial team. He became news editor August 2016 and editor-in-chief May 2017.
Ryan has a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked for Illinois Times, where he covered Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and served as news editor for the Jackson Free Press. He has received more than a dozen regional and national awards from the Society for Professional Journalists and Association of Alternative Newsmedia and has had fellowships at Northwestern and University of Colorado at Boulder.
He currently serves as president of the Jackson Association of Black Journalists and is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, National Association of Black Journalists, Society for Professional Journalists and the Online News Association. Ryan often presents on the role of journalism and nonprofit news to a healthy democracy, and has been a featured speaker at the International Symposium on Online Journalism, South by Southwest and the National Association of Black Journalists Annual Convention.
“Every challenge facing Mississippi can be solved through aggressive watchdog reporting and making Mississippians smarter about how their government works.”
Marshall Ramsey, a nationally recognized editorial cartoonist, shares his cartoons and travels the state as Mississippi Today’s Editor-At-Large. Marshall can often be found in communities across Mississippi, promoting public conversations about the news and inspiring audiences to engage in civic life. He’s also host of a weekly statewide radio program and a television program on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and is the author of several books.
Marshall is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in business administration and marketing. His cartoons have appeared in the Clarion Ledger, where he worked for 22 years, as well as USA Today, CNN, Fox News, The Today Show, The New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek Magazine and 300 newspapers around the United States. He is a two-time Pulitzer Finalist and was named a top 100 employee of Gannett. He has received numerous MPA awards and the John Locher Memorial Award, which is given to nation's top collegiate cartoonist.
“As journalism evolves and faces challenges, the people of Mississippi need a solid, in-depth and reliable source of news so they can make the decisions required to take Mississippi into the future.”
Harvey Parson, a native of Prairie, Miss., works with newsroom leaders to oversee editorial production and staff development while leading the effort to partner with other newsrooms.
A graduate of Mississippi State University, Harvey has more than 30 years of experience in journalism, during which he worked at Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette before joining the Mississippi Today team September 2017.
He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Society of Professional Journalists.
“Mississippi Today is an important added resource amid the challenges facing traditional newsrooms — helping tell the important stories of our state while providing clarity and context to important issues. As news organizations struggle to survive, nonprofit news helps ensure that independent and credible journalism continues.”
Web & Engagement Editor
Lauchlin Fields, a native of Clinton and a 15-year resident of Vicksburg, manages and maintains the Mississippi Today website and works closely with the executive director to develop growth and brand strategies for the organization. She formed and leads our engagement team, a small group focused on strengthening audience engagement through newsletter products, enhanced story presentation, social media strategies, search engine optimization and marketing and branding. 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.
She has a bachelor’s in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi and was a news and features reporter for The Vicksburg Post, as well as the principal writer for Vicksburg Impressions magazine. Lauchlin founded and was the publisher and editor of The ‘Sip Magazine, a quarterly print publication centered on Mississippi culture. She is co-owner of Front Porch Fodder, a web and graphic design and social media management company.
Lauchlin is a member of the Online News Association.
“I am passionate about creating engagement around the high quality journalism our staff produces so we can effectively tell the stories that matter to Mississippians. By using tools to engage our audience and grow readership, our staff has a unique opportunity to empower readers and enact positive change in a place often misunderstood and misrepresented.”
Linden Potts manages the business finances and operations at Mississippi Today. A native Jacksonian, Linden is a certified public accountant with an accounting certificate from Belhaven University and a bachelor’s in economics and finance from the University of Wyoming.
Linden worked as a senior auditor for Matthews, Cutrer, & Lindsay P.A., and as a real estate sales agent for Nix-Tann & Associates. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, as well as the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants.
“I believe our collective effort to bring news stories to the public is important because educating Mississippians on issues is the first step in making positive changes in our state.”
Membership & Marketing Coordinator
Elizabeth Hambuchen is a native of Conway, Arkansas. As a member of the engagement team, she helps manage our membership program and plans and executes marketing initiatives and live events. She also performs a variety of administrative tasks.
Elizabeth has a bachelor’s in communications with minors in business administration and political science from Millsaps College. She was an intern in the Mississippi House of Representatives as a Women in Legislature Fellow. Elizabeth worked for Mississippi Today as a business and marketing intern June 2018 and joined the staff full-time August 2018.
"The work of Mississippi Today is important to the progress of the state because the reporting is about more than just getting a story. It's also about informing and inspiring communities to better engage in civic life. This local, on the ground, focused journalism is vital in a state like Mississippi, where many have not been allowed the information they need to hold their leaders accountable."
Kelsey Davis is from Mobile, Ala., and currently lives in Cleveland, where she works as one of our Mississippi Delta-based reporters covering education and intersecting issues.
Kelsey has a dual degree in journalism and Spanish from Auburn University and worked as an editorial intern at Texas Monthly and a courts reporter at the Montgomery Advertiser. Prior to joining Mississippi Today August 2017, she won awards for her reporting on public housing and the life of a parolee re-entering society.
“The work we in the Delta bureau do is integral because this area has historically gone underreported on. As a result, issues central to the Delta haven’t been as much apart of statewide conversations. The ways that statewide policy specifically affects the Delta haven’t been as widely discussed. There is a critical need to elevate those conversations and our work aims to do that.”
Adam Ganucheau 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 and was a 2016 finalist for the Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) Breaking News Investigations.
He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters & Editors and Leadership Greater Jackson.
“I believe Mississippians deserve to know how their elected officials and candidates asking for their votes are truly representing them. Questions about how public officials spend taxpayer money, how they apply their personal values to a broader community they serve, and how they leverage their positions of power are too often ignored in this state.”
Bobby Harrison, Mississippi Today’s senior capitol reporter, covers politics, government and the Mississippi State Legislature. He also writes a weekly commentary.
A native of Laurel, Bobby joined our team June 2018 after working for the North Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo since 1984. He also worked for his hometown Laurel Leader-Call.
Bobby has a bachelor's in American Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi and has received multiple awards from the Mississippi Press Association, including the Bill Minor Best Investigative/In-depth Reporting and Best Commentary Column. He was recognized for two consecutive years as "Advocate of the Year" for the North Mississippi Special Needs Arc.
He is president of the Mississippi Capitol Press Corps Association and works with the Mississippi State University Stennis Institute to organize press luncheons.
“Mississippi needs people to shine light on both its failures and its successes. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer traditional news outlets are able to shine that light. As a journalist, and perhaps more importantly as a native Mississippian, I am thankful there are other outlets -- namely nonprofits -- able and willing to fill the void.”
Sereena Henderson manages Mississippi Today’s social media and reports on Mississippi culture. She is also a member of the engagement team and curates and delivers the daily newsletter.
Sereena, a native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, is a graduate of the Ole Miss School of Journalism and New Media, where she worked as an anchor and correspondent for News Watch Ole Miss. Before joining the Mississippi Today team August 2016, she worked as an intern at WLOX Biloxi. Her work has also appeared on WMC Memphis and WTVA Tupelo.
She has received the Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters award and the Society of Professional Journalist National Mark of Excellence Award for her multimedia coverage of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
“As journalists, it's important that we connect with our readers. Today, the first place we go to make those connections is on social media. With the sometimes overwhelming flow of the large amounts of information available to us via social media, it's important that, as a news organization, we project and maintain a strong sense of accuracy, transparency and reliability on each and every platform.”
Erica Hensley, a native of Atlanta, has been working as an investigative reporter for Mississippi Today since May 2018. She is a Knight Foundation fellow for our newsroom’s collaboration with local TV station WLBT and is a member of the engagement team and curates The Inform[H]er, our monthly women and girls’ newsletter.
Before joining our team, she was a freelance reporter and worked as a reporter for Georgia Health News and managing editor for Aesculapian. She also was a bookseller.
Her work has appeared on WebMD, WABE, Georgia Health News, Paste magazine and Rural Health Quarterly. She was also selected as a McGill Fellow for Journalistic Courage.
Erica received a bachelor’s in print journalism and political science from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and a master’s in health and medical journalism from the University of Georgia Grady College for Journalism and Mass Communication.
She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.
“A free and bold press is imperative to a functional and healthy democracy...Mississippi needs context. It is vastly over-simplified from the inside and out, and its people deserve their stories to be told with compassion, clarity and context.”
Michelle Liu, a native of College Station, Texas, is a 2018 corps member for Report for America, a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms. She has covered criminal justice issues across the state since joining our team June 2018.
Her work has appeared in the New Haven Independent.
Alex Rozier, a native of New York City, is Mississippi Today’s data reporter. He analyzes data and creates visuals for numbers that inform our stories. He also reports on the environment, transportation and Mississippi culture and is a member of the engagement team.
Alex, whose work has appeared in the Boston Globe and Open Secrets, has a bachelor’s in journalism from Boston University. He began his career with Mississippi Today as an intern July 2017 and became a full-time reporter November 2017.
“As the old watchdog motto goes, it's important to hold our decision-makers accountable. But also specifically in Mississippi, which often isn't reflected in national news, it's important to tell stories of under-represented communities —the truths we tell are only as full as the sources we rely on.”
Eric J. Shelton is a 2018 corps member in Report for America, a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms, and joined the team as our first photojournalist. A native of Columbia, Eric earned his bachelor’s in photojournalism from the University of Southern Mississippi.
He has worked as a staff photographer for the Natchez Democrat and Texarkana Gazette after serving as photojournalism intern for the Associated Press. He was a multimedia journalist for Abilene Reporter-News, chief photographer for the Hattiesburg American and photo editor for the Killeen Daily Herald before joining our team June 2018.
Eric’s photojournalism has won awards from the Mississippi Associated Press Managing Editors and the Arkansas Press Photographers Association.
“I feel that my work has made an impact by visually reporting across the state. I feel that visual reporting is necessary when connecting with an audience.”
Kayleigh Skinner covers education, government, politics and how they intersect and impact the lives of people in Mississippi. She is also instrumental in Mississippi Today’s fact-check series and curates The Bell, Mississippi Today’s monthly education newsletter.
Kayleigh has a bachelor’s in journalism from the School of Journalism and New Media from the University of Mississippi. She has been recognized as a member of the 2018 class of the ProPublica and Ida B. Wells Society Data Institute and a member of the 2016 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Journalism Award-winning team. She is also a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Education Writers Association and the National Association of Black Journalists.
Before joining the Mississippi Today editorial team January 2017, Kayleigh worked for The Hechinger Report, The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal and Chalkbeat Tennessee. Her work has also appeared on PBS NewsHour.
“Education is one of those broad issues that affects everyone. The quality of education and its accessibility touches so many aspects of our lives, like the preparedness of our workforce, types of industry we attract, and how much money we make. I'm happy to have a job that takes me inside classrooms, board rooms and the like so I can write stories about what's happening in schools across the state and why what is happening matters.”
Anna Wolfe, a native of Tacoma, Wa., is an investigative reporter specifically reporting on poverty and economic justice and the intersection between beats.
Before joining the staff at Mississippi Today September 2018, Anna worked for three years at Clarion Ledger covering city, county and state government, politics and health care. She also worked as an investigative reporter for the Center for Public Integrity and Jackson Free Press.
Anna earned her associate’s degree from Pierce College in Lakewood, Wa., and her bachelor’s from Mississippi State University. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her work, including the Bill Minor Prize for Investigative Journalism June 2019 and June 2018; first place for in-depth investigative reporting from the Mississippi Press Association, June 2019 and June 2018; and being named a finalist for the Food Sustainability Media Award in Written Journalism, October 2018.
Her work has appeared in USA Today, Clarion Ledger, Sun Herald, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Seattle Times, Detroit Free Press and Jackson Free Press.
“Regardless of what beat I’m covering, I’ve found every good investigative story stems from the experience of a certain level of unfairness. Exposing inequity through the stories of everyday people — not government officials, but factory workers, cashiers, caretakers — can and will inspire change. That’s our mission.”
Aallyah Wright is a native of Clarksdale and a Mississippi Delta reporter covering education and local government. She is also a guest radio host for WROX Radio (97.5 FM) and was a playwright/reporter for "Beautiful Agitators," a 2017 project by StoryWorks/Reveal Labs from the Center for Investigative Reporting in partnership with Mississippi Today.
Aallyah has a bachelor’s in journalism with minors in communications and theater from Delta State University. Prior to joining Mississippi Today January 2017, she interned as a reporter for the Bolivar Commercial and was the project producer and community journalist for The Cleveland Yearbook, a project by The Center for Investigative Reporting and Delta Arts Alliance.
In 2018, Aallyah earned a fellowship with Hechinger Report to report on Mississippi’s teacher shortage and its effects. Her reporting with the Mississippi Today Education Team for "Behind the Headlines:Cleveland Central" received third-place at the 68th Annual Green Eyeshade Awards.
Her work has appeared in The Hechinger Report, The Daily Journal and Delta Magazine. She is a Community Advisory Board Member for Aspen Youth Leaders Fellowship Delta and a board member for Lower Mississippi River Foundation.
“The work I do here at Mississippi Today is important because there's not many who are dedicated to report from or committed to living in an area like the Delta. It's empowering for people from here to see someone who looks like them giving back to the community by amplifying their messages, providing them with additional resources and information to better inform their decisions. And, essentially, giving them diverse stories with being fair and factual.”
Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016.
A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 12 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year. He was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 2016 and into the Hattiesburg Hall of Fame in 2018. He received the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence in 2011 and was inducted into the University of Southern Mississippi Communications Hall of Fame in 2018. In 2000, he was honored with the Distinguished Mississippian Award from Mississippi Press Association. He has received numerous state, regional and national awards for his column writing and reporting.
“As traditional newspaper staffs and newspapers themselves have diminished, the traditional role of journalism as a watchdog has been threatened. Thorough news coverage is critical to the well-being of a democracy. I believe we are seeing nonprofit news begin to fill that role. I believe we will see that increase.”