Grant McLaughlin

The Commercial Dispatch

Reporter Profile

Grant McLaughlin is an economic development/ workforce reporter for the Commercial Dispatch in Columbus, Mississippi. As an undergraduate at The University of Mississippi’s School of Journalism and New Media l, McLaughlin worked for The Daily Mississippian, Rebel Radio, and started his own literary arts/ news website and magazine, The Underground Poet. He also participated in the Journalism School’s in-depth reporting class, writing about Fannie Lou Hamer and her Freedom Farm Cooperative. McLaughlin has also been a photography intern for Invitation magazine, where he worked local events in Oxford, Mississippi. He has a passion for writing poetry and creative nonfiction and has been published in Quasar Arts Magazine and the Landshark Review.

Beat: Economic and workforce issues in rural Mississippi

This relatively rural area has seen outsized industrial growth over the past 18 years, with $5.9 billion in investment and the creation of 6,000 jobs. Much of this growth was fueled by controversial local and state incentives. This beat covers economic development and workforce development, two subjects closely intertwined. Daily stories include industry briefs and workforce development initiatives. Long-term enterprise stories explore industrial recruitment efforts and the $65 million cleanup of a local Superfund site.