Grace Mamon

As of today, Cardinal News has a reporter based in Danville — Grace Mamon.

We started with two full-time staff reporters – political reporter Markus Schmidt in Richmond (the only full-time journalist in the state capital year-round representing a news organization west of Richmond, as we like to say), and business reporter Megan Schnabel in Roanoke. Now we have three.

Grace Mamon is a recent graduate of Washington & Lee University. Her name may be familiar to you already because she’s been freelancing for us since not long after our launch last fall.

Some of the stories she’s done:

What advice other cities with casinos have for Bristol and Danville

How the lack of child care is becoming an economic development issue in rural Virginia

How the teams in the Appalachian League have used their forced name changes as a marketing opportunity

Grace is a Virginia native who grew up in Fredericksburg and studied journalism and English at W&L. During her time there, she served as editor-in-chief of the university newspaper and completed internships with The Roanoke Times and the Tampa Bay Business Journal. In Danville, Grace will be devoting particular attention to the economic rebirth of that city and the surrounding counties. She’ll be working out of the nonprofit shared space at the First Baptist Church in Danville’s River District. We are planning a reception soon for her to meet and greet members of the community.

We were able to hire Grace thanks to a generous grant from the Danville Regional Foundation, which saw a need for more journalism in the region: “Across the country, philanthropic organizations and foundations are supporting the development and launch of nonprofit news sites,” said Clark Casteel, president and CEO of Danville Regional Foundation, in announcing the grant. “At DRF, we have repeatedly come across research and articles on the rise of nonprofit news as an important strategy for bringing our communities together, keeping citizens informed and creating the foundation for constructive dialogue on how to solve our region’s challenges.” A reminder: Donors have no say in news decisions. See our policy.

We look forward to seeing Grace’s byline, and more coverage of an undercovered part of the state. You can reach her at grace@cardinalnews.org. We hope soon to be announcing additional reporters as we continue our campaign to add six more reporters for Bristol/Abingdon, the Roanoke and New River valleys, Martinsville, Lynchburg and to cover education and health. Right now, there’s no full-time education or health reporters west of Richmond. You can help us add these positions. We’re a 501c3 non-profit.

Dwayne Yancey

Yancey is editor of Cardinal News. His opinions are his own. You can reach him at dwayne@cardinalnews.org.