Samantha Willis: The New Editor of Virginia Mercury

Samantha Willis, a veteran journalist and writer, has been appointed as the new editor of Virginia Mercury, one of the state’s leading nonprofit newsrooms. Willis, who has over 12 years of experience in print, digital, and broadcast media, will take over the role from Robert Zullo, who is leaving to join the Virginia Public Access Project.

A Passionate and Skilled Journalist

Willis has a diverse and impressive background in journalism, covering topics such as education, health, politics, culture, and social justice. She has worked for various media outlets, including Richmond Magazine, VPM, Style Weekly, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She has also written for national publications such as Glamour, Essence, and Yahoo Life.

Willis joined Virginia Mercury in January 2021 as the deputy and commentary editor, overseeing the opinion section and contributing to the news coverage. She quickly established herself as a passionate and skilled journalist, who can produce engaging and insightful stories that inform and empower the readers.

Willis said she is honored and excited to lead Virginia Mercury, which she described as a “vital source of independent, in-depth, and investigative journalism” in Virginia. She said she is looking forward to working with the talented and dedicated staff, and continuing the legacy of Zullo, who launched the newsroom in 2018.

Samantha Willis: The New Editor of Virginia Mercury

A Vision for the Future

Willis said she has a vision for the future of Virginia Mercury, which is to expand its reach and impact, and to reflect the diversity and complexity of the state. She said she wants to amplify the voices and perspectives of the communities that are often underrepresented or marginalized in the mainstream media, and to hold the powerful accountable for their actions and decisions.

Willis also said she wants to collaborate and innovate with other media partners, such as VPM, to create more multimedia and interactive content that can attract and engage new audiences. She said she believes that journalism is a public service, and that Virginia Mercury has a responsibility to serve the public interest and the common good.

A Warm Welcome and Farewell

Willis’s appointment as the new editor of Virginia Mercury was announced by the board of directors of the Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism, the nonprofit organization that operates the newsroom. The board praised Willis for her leadership and vision, and expressed confidence that she will take Virginia Mercury to new heights of excellence and relevance.

The board also thanked Zullo for his outstanding work as the founding editor of Virginia Mercury, and wished him well in his new role at the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan organization that tracks money and influence in Virginia politics. Zullo said he is proud and grateful for what he and his team have accomplished at Virginia Mercury, and that he is thrilled to pass the torch to Willis, whom he called a “brilliant journalist and a wonderful person”.


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