Quietly, NBC’s Andrew Lack, news chairman, has been the key person behind Mississippi Today, an online news site that has been operating for three years. It is one of several experimental approaches to journalism seeking traction during a painful time of retrenchment for local news.
CJ LeMaster, chief investigative reporter at WLBT, Raycom’s NBC affiliate in Jackson Miss., admits he didn’t know what to expect when his news director informed him that he was getting a partner. Her name: Erica Hensley. Hensley is an accomplished reporter with two degrees and a strong track record in data journalism, But Hensley showed up at WLBT with a lot more than her reporting credentials: her work is completely paid for, part of an innovative funding model for investigative journalism, the nonprofit Mississippi Today.