Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms all over the country, and The Atlanta Voice, the city’s longest running Black publication, are teaming up to serve the community. 

Madeline Thigpen, 23, will be heading to “The city too busy to hate” this summer and will be joining the Voice staff as an education reporter. 

Originally from South Orange, New Jersey, Thigpen, 23, is looking forward to covering one of the city’s most versatile and important beats. 

“I am so excited to get the opportunity to continue covering education and to begin reporting for The Atlanta Voice,” said Thigpen, who earned a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from American University in Washington, D.C. Thigpen listed the paper’s tradition and journalistic legacy as additional reasons she is looking forward to joining the staff. 

Thigpen comes to The Atlanta Voice having covered the school district in South Orange/Maplewood (SOMA), New Jersey while reporting for TapInto, a local digital-only publication. 

During her time with TapInto Thigpen not only covered the SOMA school district but also reported on local stories throughout the communities of Roselle, Roselle Park and Elizabeth. 

Asked why she enjoys covering local news and education she said, “I want to improve people’s lives by reporting on their schools. My goal is to build relationships with the community and write articles that are meaningful to readers’ lives.”

Atlanta isn’t home to Thigpen but it’s pretty close because of the people waiting here for her. Thigpen’s Atlanta ties lie in her mother’s two best friends, her godmothers. Both live in Atlanta and will be her de facto family in her new home away from home. “I call them my aunts,” she said. 

Moving to the south for the first time is also something Thigpen is looking forward to experiencing. “I’m excited to be moving to Atlanta, I have a few friends that attended Spelman College and they love it here,” she said. “I’m excited to see what the city has to offer.”

Thigpen is one of six Report for America reporters working to cover under-reported issues and communities in Georgia this summer. 

Two are at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, another pair will be at the Athens Banner-Herald and another will be at The Plug

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