Journalism educators, trade organizations endorse bipartisan federal shield law

BY: - September 13, 2023

By Emily Richardson / Capital News Service Journalists could have more federal protections if a reintroduced shield law bill can pass Congress this term. The PRESS Act would protect journalists, including citizen journalists, from federal court-ordered disclosure of information about a source. There are a handful of limitations such as information that could prevent an act of terrorism […]

Some Virginia newspapers powered political disenfranchisement, brutalization of Black people

BY: - May 3, 2023

When 10-year-old Alice Powell was mysteriously killed in 1885, the Norfolk Virginian and the Richmond Dispatch put together a timeline of her murder, which they blamed on Noah Cherry, a Black man who was lynched soon after the newspapers published the story. But the timelines didn’t agree with each other, or with the county’s death […]

New information in 138-year-old Virginia Beach lynching shatters state’s genteel veneer

BY: - May 2, 2023

According to a news story, Medora Alice Powell was singing a Christian hymn, “The Sweet By-and-By,” as the 10-year-old girl left for school early in the morning on Friday the 13th of November in 1885. She took a solitary path through a portion of the rural area then known as Princess Anne County where Holland […]


There’s more to Senator Warner’s local press resolution than a commendation

BY: - May 1, 2023

My eye was drawn to a short story in the Virginia Mercury last week about the commonwealth’s senior U.S. senator, Mark Warner, supporting a resolution that endorses the need for robust, independent local news organizations. The 338-word piece by Meghan McIntyre was rich with alarming statistics about brutal declines local news organizations have suffered from […]

Warner backs resolution declaring local news essential to democracy

BY: - April 19, 2023

Amid dire shortages of local news outlets nationwide, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, is backing a resolution recognizing the industry “serves an essential function in the democracy of the United States.” “In Virginia and across the country, local news outlets are relied on to keep our citizens informed, combat disinformation, and serve as a crucial […]


Leaving Virginia. Again.

BY: - July 25, 2022

On a sticky Sunday afternoon in August 1997, my dad and I parked along Jamestown Road in Williamsburg and got out for a brief, self-guided tour of William and Mary’s old campus. A dreamy, humid haze hung over the deserted place, with the Sunken Gardens and sylvan brick paths lush and late-summer green.  I said […]


A full journalism life isn’t just a destination; it’s celebrating those you meet on the journey

BY: - June 20, 2022

He was a gregarious lad fresh out of Hampden-Sydney with a sunny smile, speaking a mile-a-minute and full of curiosity. Jonathan would have blended into the diffuse background of the 2001 governor’s race as far as Virginia’s senior political correspondents at the time were concerned but for the fact that, at seemingly every stop, he […]

New editor to lead Virginia Mercury

BY: - June 8, 2022

Sarah Vogelsong, an award-winning energy and environment reporter, has been named the next editor in chief of the Virginia Mercury, a nonprofit news outlet in Richmond covering Virginia government, politics and policy. Robert Zullo, who oversaw the site’s launch in 2018, is leaving the helm at the end of the summer for a new national […]

Virginia Mercury wins top awards at press competition

BY: - April 28, 2022

The Virginia Mercury won nine first-place awards and health and education reporter Kate Masters was recognized as Virginia’s outstanding young journalist in the Virginia Press Association’s contest for 2021. Judges said Masters, 28, “provided readers with insightful, revealing coverage of what remained the story of the year — the COVID-19 pandemic,” using data to hold […]

Citing FOIA exemptions, the Youngkin administration is withholding hundreds of pages of documents

BY: - March 23, 2022

Since Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s inauguration in January, the Mercury has made more than half a dozen Freedom of Information Act requests related to some of his biggest policy decisions, from revised guidance on masking in schools to a report on “divisive concepts” in K-12 education. The governor’s office and multiple state agencies have withheld hundreds […]

Delegate responds with poop emoji after prison officials complain about news coverage

BY: - February 16, 2022

The Virginia Department of Corrections issued an unusual news release Wednesday complaining about a news story published nearly two weeks ago by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The article had described how lawmakers voted down legislation that would have created a layer of independent oversight over the department. Prison officials complained in their release that the article […]

Proposed license plate honoring crusading African American paper clears Senate

BY: - February 15, 2022

A new license plate could be added this summer to the more than 250 options Virginians can choose from if the House of Delegates passes and the governor signs a bill to introduce the design commemorating a newspaper founded by emancipated men. The bill to create a license plate in honor of the Richmond Planet […]