Mercury reporter wins prestigious environmental reporting award

BY: - August 5, 2021

The Mercury’s Sarah Vogelsong took first-place honors in a prestigious contest that recognizes outstanding environmental journalism. Vogelsong won first-place in the “Outstanding Explanatory Reporting, Small” category in the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Awards for Reporting on the Environment contest. The winning entry was “Virginia’s Clean Energy Transition,” a five-part series on the landmark Virginia Clean […]


Memorial Day memories: courage of war correspondents allowed tales of soldier sacrifice to be told

BY: - May 31, 2021

By Michael Bugeja I never fought in the Vietnam War. I joined United Press International, a worldwide wire service, in 1975 at the end of that conflict. My heroes were UPI war correspondents — Leon Daniel, Kate Webb and Joseph L. Galloway. Daniel was a friend. He died in 2006. Webb was a role model […]

Virginia Mercury wins honors in press competition

BY: - April 30, 2021

The Virginia Mercury took nine first-place awards and one of its journalists earned a top individual honor in the 2020 Virginia Press Association competition. Mercury reporter Ned Oliver was named the year’s outstanding journalist for his work covering how the COVID-19 pandemic affected Virginia’s most vulnerable people. That included stories about prisoners, workers who lost […]

An investigative outlet sets its sights on Sentara

BY: - April 6, 2021

Editor’s note: On June 4, The Washington Post reported that Tigercomm, a PR firm that provides “strategic support” to Checks & Balances Project and shares office space with it, had received payment from Eastern Virginia Medical School before it started writing stories about Sentara. Those payments eventually totaled $150,000. Checks & Balances has received payments […]


‘Don’t tell me what you think. Tell me what you know.’ Media bias, real and perceived, is a threat.

BY: - February 1, 2021

The past few years have been a real crucible for this country, and no institution has faced more challenges (from within and from without) than the big, brawling, chaotic and cutthroat-competitive entity that we know by the overbroad shorthand “news media.” I grew up a news junkie, enraptured by the sonorous, dispassionate delivery of the […]


That time U.S. media companies stepped in to silence falsehoods and incitements of a major public figure … in 1938

BY: - January 19, 2021

By William (Bill) Kovarik In speeches filled with hatred and falsehoods, a public figure attacks his enemies and calls for marches on Washington. Then, after one particularly virulent address, private media companies close down his channels of communication, prompting consternation from his supporters and calls for a code of conduct to filter out violent rhetoric. […]


Let’s not get fooled again: Fight the lies by learning to recognize the truth

BY: - January 13, 2021

We have a crisis of credulity in this country. We’ve become a nation of dupes. The inability of far too many Americans to separate fact from fantasy, and the people who are eager to take advantage of that failure, are the root of the rot in our country. The consequences, long evident, should now be […]


Alden sets its sights on Tribune and a shudder runs through what’s left of two Virginia newspapers

BY: - January 12, 2021

People who value local journalism should be trembling at the announcement that a notorious hedge fund — dedicated to wringing out every last penny of profit moreso than informing the public — has targeted Tribune Publishing. The Chicago-based company’s media outlets include The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, billed as the state’s largest newspaper, and the (Newport […]


2020 in review: Top 10 most-viewed Mercury stories of the year

BY: - January 1, 2021

Journalism, of course, isn’t a popularity contest. The value of the work isn’t meant to be judged by how many people click on a given story. Indeed, wise reporters and editors stop questioning early in their careers why some stories, especially those that might seem more trivial, take flight while others of equal or greater […]


Here’s how to prevent the spread of misinformation

BY: - October 31, 2020

A version of this article originally originally appeared in the Behavioral Scientist, a magazine that examines the world through the science of human behavior. By Elizabeth Weingarten and Rosii Floreak If you were trying to picture a misinformation spreader, your first step probably wouldn’t be to look in the mirror. But in our work examining the psychology of misinformation, we […]

Step aside murder hornet: How a puss caterpillar sting in Virginia took the internet by storm.

BY: - October 27, 2020

A hairy mini-monster from Virginia is drawing worldwide attention. It is invading, taking over our state and making us vomit. Except that it isn’t. The 1½-inch-long venomous creature, called a puss caterpillar, can indeed hurt you, as it did a New Kent County woman on Sept. 4. But the little creeper’s threat has been magnified […]

Virginia Mercury

Virginia Mercury wins 11 first-place awards in press contest

BY: - April 30, 2020

The Virginia Mercury staff won 11 first-place awards in the 2019 Virginia Press Association contest, the first year the publication, launched in 2018, was eligible to compete. Reporters — including current staff writers Ned Oliver, Sarah Vogelsong and Graham Moomaw and former reporters Mechelle Hankerson and Katie O’Connor — won first-place awards for reporting on […]