The Current is a not-for-profit, independent newsroom with a dedicated staff of professional journalists with experience in the community, state, nation and world.
Margaret Coker, the editor-in-chief, started her two-decade career in journalism at Cox Newspapers before going to work at The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. In that time she covered stories from 32 countries on four continents.
Margaret has won numerous national journalism prizes for investigative, business and diplomatic reporting as well as feature writing. She led a team of Wall Street Journal reporters named as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting in 2017. She is the author of “The Spymaster of Baghdad,” a nonfiction book of Iraqi patriotism in the battle against Isis.
Margaret’s journalism has led to criminal trials and regulatory investigations of global banks and financiers, the dismissal of 14 corrupt police officers, and freedom for three people wrongly convicted and incarcerated. She speaks Arabic and Russian.
She came home to Savannah in 2019 to launch The Current, to revive an investigative news culture in Coastal Georgia, and to mentor a new generation of journalists in our region. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Catron, managing editor, has more than two decades of experience in Georgia newspapers.
From November 2005 until May 2020, Susan served as executive editor of the Savannah Morning News. During her time there, she supervised news content, staffing and budgets for Coastal Georgia’s largest daily newspaper and several weekly newspapers, along with other monthly and special publications. The paper was named best in the state eight times under her leadership.
A native of North Carolina, she came to Georgia in 1998 as managing editor for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. The news staff won the Georgia Associated Press Freedom of Information Award in 2005 for its coverage and ensuing state Supreme Court litigation of a case involving the shooting after an unarmed Black man by a law enforcement officer. She’s also worked at daily newspapers in Louisiana, Missouri, Florida and Kentucky.
She is an adjunct instructor at Savannah State University, the owner of Catron Content Services, a board member of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation and Savannah Council on World Affairs, a lapsed Georgia Master Gardener, and loves to kayak the marshes and rivers along the coast. Contact her at email@example.com
Mary Landers covers Coastal Georgia’s environment for The Current, a topic she covered for nearly 24 years at the Savannah Morning News, where she began and ended her time there writing about health, including most recently focusing on the pandemic. She’s adept at telling the stories of everyone from jellyfish fishers to pipeline protesters.
Mary is a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi, where she taught environmental science at Lake Malawi National Park. She also speaks Chichewa and basic Spanish. As a reporter in Georgia, she’s won numerous investigative reporting awards as well as the Larry Peterson Investigative Journalism Award. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jake Shore covers public safety and the courts system in Savannah and Coastal Georgia. He is also a Report for America corps member. Prior to joining The Current, Jake worked as a writer for the Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette newspapers based near Hilton Head, South Carolina. He covered breaking news, police, crime, and the courts.
He won several awards from the South Carolina Press Association in 2021 for his series “Fined Out.” It looked into the punitive cycle of poverty that stems from being unable to pay back traffic tickets in South Carolina, which causes drivers to lose their licenses, end up in jail, and incur more fees. Jake also extensively covered the Murdaugh family saga in South Carolina, which expanded into a massive web of alleged financial fraud, a picture of privilege and power in the rural South, and a shocking double murder.
Jake is originally from Los Angeles, California, and attended school at Fordham University in the Bronx. He got his start in journalism working as a radio reporter at his campus NPR-affiliate station. You can catch Jake on weekends going for runs in Savannah (except in August) and forever in search of good Mexican food. Have a story idea, confidential tip, or want to share your thoughts? You can reach him at email@example.com.
Robin was the founder of The Clayton Crescent, a nonprofit news site where she published independent, accountability news for her neighbors for more than 3 years. Her work is a continuation of a family tradition. Born in New Orleans on Mardi Gras, Robin grew up in her father’s newsroom, then worked for the weekly paper, Gambit. As a reporter there, she covered the environment, politics, small business, and culture before coming to Georgia to work at CNN. After graduate school and a period of teaching and freelance writing, Robin worked at The Weather Channel, where she innovated the power outage map, before returning to newspaper reporting in Clayton County. She was named the 2021 Media Changemaker by the Mercer University Center for Collaborative Journalism. Robin loves coastal culture, dogs, the blues, photography, and good people. Send Liberty County news tips to her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maggie Lee is a data reporter for The Current. She has been covering Georgia and metro Atlanta government and politics since 2008, contributing writing and data journalism over the years to Creative Loafing, SaportaReport, Reporter Newspapers, The Telegraph (Macon) and others. Find her online at maggielee.net.
Julia Capizzi is an engagement journalist with a passion for audience development and social media management. She received her M.A. in Engagement Journalism from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism in December 2021 and has helped develop the social media and audience engagement strategies for a number of publications, tech startups and more. Julia is also the founder and editor of Unpure, a newsletter that serves purity culture deconstructors, and TV That Made Me Cry This Week, an entertainment and pop culture newsletter. She loves connecting audiences with news resources and media products that help serve their information needs and have a positive impact on their lives. You can see her work at www.juliacapizzi.com. Email her at email@example.com
Craig Nelson is a former international correspondent for The Associated Press, the Sydney (Australia) Morning-Herald, Cox Newspapers and The Wall Street Journal. He also served as foreign editor for The National (Abu Dhabi) and as the Journal’s Kabul bureau chief and London-based Africa and Middle East editor. He speaks Spanish. He lives and works in Savannah as a free-lance writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
COMMUNICATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT
Shannon GaNun is a communication professional with a wide range of experience spanning more than 30 years.
She has helped many small businesses, corporations, trade associations, public relations firms, and members of Congress improve their communication and generate increased interest in their products and services.
Shannon’s background in communications and fundraising makes her the perfect fit for The Current. She focuses on implementing revenue and reader engagement strategies to ensure The Current’s journalism reaches the communities it aims to serve.
In addition to her communication consulting work, Shannon is a part-time instructor at Georgia Southern University, teaching public speaking classes to undergraduates. She is also very active in the fitness industry and has taught almost every kind of group exercise class imaginable since the early ’90s. Contact her at email@example.com
SUMMER REPORTING STAFF, 2023
Jabari Gibbs, from Atlanta, Georgia, is a senior at Georgia Southern University. Majoring in communications, he is the Editor-in-Chief for The George-Anne Inkwell. His investigative pieces have led to change at the university. In his free time he enjoys playing video games and working out. As the recipient of an Emma Bowen Foundation Fellowship, Jabari works with The Current to increase diverse perspectives in the news. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kailey Cota is a data reporting intern at The Current through the Dow Jones News Fund. She recently graduated from the University of South Carolina and was named the 2021 S.C. Collegiate Journalist of the Year. She worked at The Daily Gamecock, USC’s student newspaper, throughout her time in school and was most recently the Editor-in-Chief. She previously reported for The Post and Courier and The State newspaper, covering a range of topics including general assignment news, politics, crime and business. Contact her at email@example.com
Audrey Gibbs is a summer fellow for The Current covering investigations. She recently graduated from Columbia Journalism School in New York City, where she received her Master of Science in journalism. Prior to her time at Columbia, she studied English at Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee. Previously, Audrey has interned for Ms. magazine, where she wrote a bi-weekly column titled “Tools of the Patriarchy,” as well as American Songwriter Magazine, covering new releases in the music industry from R&B to country pop. Audrey has experience covering general news, investigations, the arts and women’s health in both print and audio forms. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, knitting and playing guitar. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Harwell is a Florida native and rising senior at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. She has served as a brand engagement manager for Centric magazine and beat reporter for NSM Today, both student-run publications at UCF, as well as interned at i4 business magazine. She works as an ambassador team co-coordinator at the UCF Arboretum and is an officer of the campus chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. Sarah comes to The Current as a Dow Jones News Fund audience engagement intern. Contact her at email@example.com
Caelen McQuilkin is a student at Amherst College from Lee Vining, California. She has worked as a managing news editor and managing features editor for The Amherst Student, the student newspaper for Amherst College, and as a staff reporter and writer for The Mammoth Times, the regional newspaper that covers her hometown. Beginning her passion for journalism in Lee Vining, a small town in eastern California, Caelen loves reporting and writing as a means to better fill in the complex picture of a place. Caelen’s summer internship is made possible by the Charles Hamilton Houston Internship Program at Amherst College. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
FORMER INTERNS, SUMMER FELLOWS
EMMA BOWEN FELLOWSHIP, 2022
Jeffery M. Glover was raised in Beaufort, South Carolina. Following graduation from Beaufort High School, he joined the US Army as an artilleryman and served in a variety of countries for six years. While living in Germany, he picked up photography as a hobby and now hopes to gain experience as a visual journalist.
When he returned home, Jeffery worked as a model and actor and started a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications at Savannah State University. As the recipient of an Emma Bowen Foundation Fellowship, Jeffery worked with The Current to enhance the skills that he has learned so far in his studies. He’ll finish at Savannah State in late 2023 with a major in documentary production and film school certifications.
Kate Griem is a Brooklyn native and an undergraduate at Harvard College, currently pursuing degrees in social studies and psychology. She is a staff writer for the Harvard Crimson magazine, while she was previously the editor-in-chief of her high school’s newspaper and the co-director of the online youth activist resource center Teens Resist. Her work has appeared in City Limits and Teen Vogue. In her spare time, she enjoys working out, reading, doing the Wordle, and playing club ultimate frisbee. Her internship was made possible this summer by the Harvard Institute of Politics’ Summer Stipend Program.
SONIA CHAJET WIDES
Sonia Chajet Wides is from Brooklyn, New York, and is currently a student at Amherst College. She is a managing news editor at The Amherst Student. Sonia was previously the founder and co-director of the online youth activist resource center Teens Resist and was a staff writer at her high school’s newspaper. Her work has also appeared in Teen Vogue. In her free time, she loves creative writing, baking, and hiking. Sonia’s summer internship at The Current was made possible by the Charles Hamilton Houston Internship Program at Amherst College.
Olivia Scott is an honors student at Mercer University majoring in journalism with minors in sociology and political science. She’ll spend her internship helping to launch a social media engagement program to reach more young adults who are interested in Coastal Georgia politics. Olivia is a Savannah native and serves as a Social Media Ambassador at Mercer and a State Student Ambassador for Savannah Arts Academy. She believes it is important for young people to get involved in politics because they are future leaders.
Nick Sullivan is a 2022 Honors College graduate of the University of South Carolina. He was the managing editor at his college paper, The Daily Gamecock, before going on to investigate topics such as healthcare and capital punishment while interning with the projects team at The State. Nick enjoys fostering community through local reporting and hopes to show everybody that they have a voice — and their stories matter. Most recently, he covered housing and homelessness for his capstone journalism class. He came to The Current as a Dow Jones News Fund data journalism intern, and he’s a full-time reporter at the Colorado Springs Gazette.
William Daughtry is a native of McIntosh County. He is a student at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and is a contributor to The Red and Black, the University of Georgia’s school paper. William graduated from McIntosh County Academy in 2020 with honors, obtaining the Zell Miller Scholarship. He plans to pursue a career in journalism surrounding politics and sports where he’s dedicated to delivering sound, truthful news to Coastal Georgia. William expects to graduate in Fall 2023 with a bachelor’s degree.
Jacqueline GaNun is a native of Coastal Georgia and a student at the University of Georgia. She is a former editor for The Red & Black, an independent student-run newspaper, where she has covered stories about communities at UGA and in Athens. Some of her work has also appeared in The New York Times. In her spare time, Jacqueline enjoys reading, walking and listening to music. Her summer work study at The Current is made possible in part by The University of Georgia Journalism Innovation Lab, a project of the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership.
Kayla Guilliams is an environment and science reporter who’s earned her master’s degree in journalism through the environment and science communication program at the University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Journalism. Kayla graduated in May 2021 as a first-generation and honors student from UNC with a degree in environmental studies and minors in statistics and journalism. A Western North Carolina native, she came to The Current as an intern through the Dow Jones News Fund’s data journalism program.
Jasmine Freeman attended Savannah State University majoring in mass communication with a concentration in journalism. She served as an illustrator and editor of the university’s newspaper, The Tiger’s Roar. Jasmine pioneered visual storytelling for The Current during her internship sponsored by the Emma Bowen Foundation.
Liz Richards attained her master’s degree in engagement journalism at the City University of New York Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, which sponsored her internship with The Current. She’s focusing on education reporting, a passion sparked during her time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica. She has a master’s of fine arts in creative nonfiction from The New School and has freelanced for Our Town, The CITY and Brooklyn Magazine.
Laura Corley is an investigative reporter who has covered public safety, government, business and education in her home state of Georgia since 2014. Laura is a full-time Civic Journalism Fellow at Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism. She was awarded a second place Doris O’Donnell Fellowship Award for 2021 for a project to focus on Superfund sites in Coastal Georgia. She also was awarded the Eric B. Sager Fellowship from Investigative Reporters & Editors Inc. in 2021. For The Current, Laura has covered the November 2020 General Election and January 2021 Senatorial Runoff Election, among other projects.
At The (Macon) Telegraph, Laura used open records requests to shine light on the shadows of police misconduct, government salaries, suspicious political connections and more.
Her bylines also have appeared in The Douglas County Sentinel, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia Public Broadcasting.
The Forsyth native was named the state’s Emerging Journalist by Georgia Press Association in 2016.