The Press Cohort (Georgia)
We are working to complete our profiles for the more than 500 nominees submitted during the month of February. If you’d like to add to this profile, please email us at: Contact@Data-Usa.org
Mary Landers tackled some of the toughest issues to cover as a journalist during COVID-19 – issues of inequality that led to and exacerbated how minority communities were impacted, inequity in vaccine distribution, and racial and ethnic experiences and vulnerabilities.
“The pandemic has been data-driven news from the beginning,” Mary said. “Which states have cases, how many, what percent of the population is that, how many people have died. I’ve tried to make sense of this data at a local level when I can for our Savannah Morning News readers so that they can take appropriate actions to protect themselves. Data drives how we cover the pandemic.”
“For example, when we reached 200 COVID deaths in our county I described the demographics of those who died and profiled ten of those people,” Mary said. “Data also drives what we cover. I’ve kept an eye on issues like the settings hardest hit by COVID — prisons and nursing homes — and written local stories about outbreaks in these places.”
One of the most challenging issues Mary covered during COVID-19 related to vaccine hesitancy among Black communities in Savannah, and the dark history behind those attitudes.
A few words from those who nominated Mary:
“I believe Mary Landers is a data hero due to her diligent work towards providing the community with accurate COVID numbers. And she doesn’t stop there, she has also provided data on how Covid has disproportionately impacted black people and POC in the Savannah area. She also created data to see which zip codes were receiving the most Covid vaccines and how economically wealthier areas were receiving more shipments.”
“For the last year she has dedicated her life to providing people with Covid numbers, information, data and even helped sign people up for the vaccine herself.”