Mary Margaret White
Chief executive officer
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.
Adam, named Mississippi Today’s editor-in-chief April 2020, has covered politics and state government for Mississippi Today since February 2016. Adam oversees the newsroom and works with the editorial team to produce high-quality journalism in the public interest.
Audience Development Director
A former newspaper reporter and magazine editor/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. As Audience Development Director, she leads a dedicated Audience Team and works closely with all staff to foster an audience engagement mindset across the organization.
Marshall, 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.
Linden manages the business finances and operations at Mississippi Today. He previously worked as a senior auditor for Matthews, Cutrer, & Lindsay P.A., and as a real estate sales agent for Nix-Tann & Associates.
Bethany works as a member of the Audience Team building and maintaining a diverse community of loyal Mississippi Today readers. She uses design to create reader-focused content and products to engage with readers across platforms, including our website, newsletters, mobile app and social channels. She is also responsible for growing and enhancing our membership program.
Product Engagement Coordinator
Alyssa, as an integral part of the Audience Team, manages our social media platforms, curates our daily and weekly newsletters and works on strategies to grow and engage with our readers by delivering content and resources through various platforms and products.
COMMUNITY HEALTH REPORTER
Devna, a Neshoba County native, covers community health. She is a 2019 graduate of the University of Mississippi, where she studied print journalism and was a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. Before joining Mississippi Today, Devna reported on education at Chalkbeat Newark and at the Post and Courier’s Education Lab, and on race and social justice at the Charlotte Observer. Her work has appeared in the Hechinger Report, the Star-Ledger and the Associated Press, and she has appeared on WNYC to discuss her reporting. Devna has been awarded for her coverage of K-12 education in the Carolinas.
Mina, a California native, covers the criminal justice system. Before joining Mississippi Today, she was a reporter for the Clarion Ledger and newspapers in Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe and USA Today.
Rick, 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 Hattiesburg American, Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger as a reporter, editor and columnist. He was 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 authored four books and has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year.
Ilyssa 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 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 20+ year old possible cases of wrongful conviction. There, she was a recipient of The Lori Hertzberg Prize for Creativity for her investigative work.
Senior Political Reporter
Bobby, Mississippi Today’s senior capitol reporter, covers politics, government and the Mississippi State Legislature. He also writes a weekly analysis.
Julia, a Louisiana native, covers K-12 education. She previously served as an investigative intern with Mississippi Today helping cover the welfare scandal. She is a 2021 graduate of the University of Mississippi, where she studied journalism and public policy and was a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. She has also been published in The New York Times and the Clarion-Ledger.
Vickie D. King
Vickie has experience as a professional photographer spanning 35 years. She is the former photographer, Special Projects Officer IV, Staff Officer I, videographer and online content producer for the Mississippi Department of Corrections and a former photojournalist. She is also a Pulitzer Prize nominee for Spot News.
HIGHER EDUCATION REPORTER
Molly covers higher education for Mississippi Today. She works in partnership with Open Campus, a nonprofit news organization focused on investigating higher education. Originally from Melbourne Beach, Florida, Molly reported on public housing and prosecutors in her home state and worked as a fact-checker at The Nation before joining Mississippi Today. Her story on Mississippi’s only class on critical race theory was a finalist for the Education Writers Association National Awards for Education Reporting in 2023 in the feature reporting category.
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, a nonprofit that exposed injustices, investigated cold cases, gave voice to the voiceless and raiseds up the next generation of investigative reporters. Mitchell and MCIR have joined forces with Mississippi Today to continue shining a light through watchdog and investigative reporting.
COMMUNITY HEALTH REPORTER
Sophia, a New York native, covers community health with a focus on women’s and family health care. In 2023, she graduated with a master’s in journalism from Northeastern University, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Boston Scope. Her multimedia work has been recognized by the National Press Photographers Association and the New England chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She has also worked for the global nonprofit, Girl Rising, and the documentary group, The Disability Justice Project.
Senior Political Reporter
Geoff serves as Senior Political Reporter, working closely with Mississippi Today leadership on editorial strategy and investigations. Pender brings 30 years of political and government reporting experience to Mississippi Today.
COMMUNITY HEALTH EDITOR
Kate is a Jackson native and returned to Mississippi Today as the lead education reporter after serving in the same capacity from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, she was a reporter for The Clarion-Ledger covering education and state government. Kate became Mississippi Today’s first community health editor in January 2022.
Alex, from New York City, is Mississippi Today’s data and environment reporter. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Open Secrets, and on NBC.com. In 2019, Alex was a grantee through the Pulitzer Center’s Connected Coastlines program, which supported his coverage around the impact of climate change on Mississippi fisheries.
Eric J. Shelton
COMMUNITY HEALTH PHOTOJOURNALIST
Eric, a native of Columbia, is a photojournalist focused on healthcare in Mississippi. Eric’s journalism career started with an internship at the Associated Press in Boston. He later worked for daily newspapers as a photojournalist in Central and East Texas. He also worked for the Hattiesburg American and the Clarion Ledger in Mississippi. Eric was a 2018 corps member in Report for America, and joined the team as our first photojournalist. He rejoined Mississippi Today as our community health photojournalist in January 2022.
JUSTICE TEAM EDITOR
Debbie is a veteran journalist, who worked over 30 years at the Clarion Ledger, first as a reporter and then as an editor overseeing breaking news, business and investigative projects. She left the CL as news director in 2018 to become managing editor of the nonprofit Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting and joined Mississippi Today in October 2022 to become its first justice team editor.
community health Reporter
Isabelle, an Atlanta native, covers health as part of Mississippi Today’s community health team. Prior to joining Mississippi Today, she was a reporter for the Biloxi Sun Herald and a Report for America corps member.
Taylor, a native of Grenada, covers state government and statewide elections. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and Holmes Community College. Before joining Mississippi Today, Taylor reported on state and local government for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, where he received an award for his coverage of the federal government’s lawsuit against the state’s mental health system.
Anna Wolfe is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who covers inequity and corruption in government safety net programs, nonprofit service providers and institutions affecting the marginalized. She began reporting for Mississippi Today in 2018, after she approached the editor with the idea of starting a poverty beat, the first of its kind in the state. Wolfe has received national recognition for her years-long coverage of Mississippi’s welfare program, in which she exposed new details about how officials funneled tens of millions of federal public assistance funds away from needy families and instead to their friends, families and the pet projects of famous athletes.