Maggie Messitt
National Director
Report for America

Maggie Messitt is national director of Report for America, a national service program that places emerging and established journalists in local newsrooms across the country to address critical coverage gaps. She has worked as a journalist, editor, and social entrepreneur inside underserved communities in rural South Africa and the American Midwest. In South Africa, she was the editor / publisher of an award-winning community newspaper and the founding director of a nonprofit focused on training women journalists inside the former Apartheid-era homelands of Lebowa and Gazankulu. In the United States, Messitt spearheaded the launch of Wisconsin Public Television’s first digital engagement site and managed multimedia storytelling projects aimed at localizing national issues. She also joined forces with the Writers in Prisons Project, the WI Department of Corrections, and UW—Madison to launch nonfiction workshops for minimum- / medium-security prisoners. Messitt is also the author of The Rainy Season, a work of narrative and immersion journalism, based in rural South Africa, longlisted for the 2016 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. She currently splits her time between the RFA offices in Brooklyn and her home in the Rust Belt.