Grant McLaughlin has joined The Dispatch newsroom as a reporter for economic and workforce development. His first day was June 1.
His beat will focus on covering the social, educational, economic and environmental aspects of business throughout the Golden Triangle. He will also take over The Dispatch’s long-standing Thursday business column.
McLaughlin was hired through the Report for America program, which places emerging journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities. The Dispatch was selected this year as one of 70 new RFA newsroom partners nationwide.
Report for America will pay up to half the journalist’s salary, and The Dispatch will pay 25 percent. Report for America requires the remaining 25 percent be raised through private community donations.
McLaughlin earned a journalism degree in May from the University of Mississippi. While in school, he wrote for the university’s student newspaper, The Daily Mississippian, and also started a news and literary blog called The Underground Post.
“I am so excited to be working in the Golden Triangle where there is so much economic and community development happening,” McLaughlin said. “I hope that I can use my beat to inform people about what is going on and how their community is growing.”
Managing Editor Zack Plair said bringing McLaughlin to the newsroom has been an exciting culmination of The Dispatch’s process to partner with RFA.
“Report for America is a vital program for journalists and newsrooms, alike, and we are honored to be a part of that,” Plair said. “Grant brings so much energy into our newsroom and into the work he does. It’s going to be exciting to see how that eagerness and energy translate into thorough and meaningful reporting on his beat.”
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