Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting

The Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit news organization founded in December 2018 by investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell that seeks to empower citizens in their communities by informing and educating the public. It provides free investigative reporting to news organizations in the state hit hard by layoffs.

Shirley L. Smith

Shirley L. Smith is an investigative journalist with experience covering topics ranging from the HIV/AIDS epidemic and other health care issues to criminal justice, natural disasters, education, municipal government and a myriad of social issues.  She is one of 61 reporters who was selected to cover under-covered communities and issues across the country as part of the Report for America program, a national public service program dedicated to local journalism. Prior to joining MCIR, Shirley worked as a freelance writer for several years.  She also worked as a full-time reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Virgin Islands Daily News, The Telegraph and The South Fulton Neighbor.  Her work has also been featured in numerous other publications and news sites including The Clarion-Ledger, Mississippi Today, The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, HealthQuest magazine, Spinal Column magazine, Women’s eNews and MedHelp.org. She has also taught journalism at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. Shirley earned her master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She also had a stint as a gubernatorial speechwriter, and as a public relations executive and consultant.