Mary Morgan is founder and executive director of The CivCity Initiative, a nonprofit focused on increasing awareness of and participation in local government and civic life. Via CivCity, she operates AnnArborVotes, an online local voter resource. She also is featured on Civic Matters, a weekly segment. that airs on NPR's WEMU Morning Edition each Monday.
Morgan publishes a weekly newsletter for CivCity focused on local action items and other civic information. She also writes occasional columns on news of civic interest that are published on Medium. She was the inaugural Community Leader in Residence for the University of Michigan Ginsberg Center in 2016-17 and serves on the Blue Ribbon Advisory Group for the Ann Arbor Public Schools.
In 2008, Morgan co-founded and served as publisher of the Ann Arbor Chronicle, an online news site covering local government and civic affairs that operated through 2014. She previously worked for The Ann Arbor News, serving as opinion editor and business editor. She began her tenure at The News in 1996 as a business reporter.
Morgan was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. She received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana University (Bloomington). She also served in the Peace Corps, teaching English and training teachers in the Central African Republic. After graduate school she worked for two years teaching English in the People's Republic of China.
Timeline: Mary Morgan
November 2014: Starts a nonprofit called The CivCity Initiative, focused on increasing participation in local government and civic life.
September 2008-September 2014: Is co-founder – along with Dave Askins – of The Ann Arbor Chronicle, an online news site featuring in-depth reporting on local government and civic affairs. Serves as publisher, as well as covering several public entities, including the Ann Arbor District Library board, Washtenaw County board of commissioners, Ann Arbor planning commission, and the Ann Arbor park advisory commission, among others.
2006-2008: Works as opinion editor at The Ann Arbor News, overseeing the editorial and opinion pages.
2003-2006: Serves on the board of the nonprofit Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan.
2001-2005: Works as business editor and columnist at The Ann Arbor News.
2000-2001: Works as a reporter covering the University of Michigan for The Ann Arbor News.
1996-2000: Works as a business reporter for The Ann Arbor News, covering technology businesses, banking & finance.
1993-1996: Works as a business reporter for the Rochester Business Journal in Rochester, N.Y.
1990-1992: Works as an English teacher at Xi'an Medical University in the People's Republic of China, teaching doctors and nurses who intend to study or work in English-speaking countries.
1989: Receives a master's degree in linguistics from Indiana University (Bloomington).
1985-1987: Serves in the Peace Corps, teaching English and training teachers in the Central African Republic.
1984: Receives undergraduate degree in English & political science from Indiana University (Bloomington).
In the news
City hosts dialogue on increasing civic engagement – Michigan Daily, March 8, 2018
Against Civic Apathy: Mary Morgan and The CivCity Initiative – Crazy Wisdom Journal, May-August 2017
Interview with CivCity Founder Mary Morgan on Community Television Network's FYI (segment starts at the 6-minute mark) – April 2017
Ginsberg Center Announces Inaugural Community-Leader-In-Residence – University of Michigan News, March 2016
Interview on the Lucy Ann Lance Show (WLBY–1290AM) – Dec. 30, 2015
The Executive Director of The CivCity Initiative Speaks Out on Voting: Mary Morgan wants to inspire current voters – Current magazine, November 2015
CivCity's quest to rescue American democracy, one community at a time – MarkMaynard.com, Sept. 8, 2015
Cultivating engaged citizenry in A2 – The Ann, August 2015
Mary Morgan & Dave Askins: Getting people to care more about local government – Ann Arbor Observer, February 2015
Chronicle founder reflects on Ann Arbor news media’s past, present and future – Concentrate, Oct. 15, 2014
Interview with Mary Morgan – SLICE Ann Arbor, Sept. 30, 2014
The Ann Arbor Chronicle news site will shut down next month – Michigan Radio’s Stateside with Cynthia Canty, Aug. 18, 2014
Alternative Ann Arbor daily closes doors – Newspapers & Technology, Aug. 18, 2014
The Ann Arbor Chronicle, a quirky local news startup, is shutting down after six years – Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab, Aug. 12, 2014
Ann Arbor Chronicle to close in September – Michigan Daily, Aug. 10, 2014
End of Ann (Arbor) Era – The Chronicle Closes – Local in Ann Arbor, Aug. 9, 2014
Ann Arbor Chronicle to Stop Publishing Regular Content in September – WEMU, Aug. 8, 2014
AnnArborChronicle.com to stop publishing Sept. 2 – Crain’s Detroit Business, Aug. 8, 2014
Money is the bug that crashes local digital news efforts – Crain’s Detroit Business, March 23, 2014
Local Online Pubs Still Toughing It Out – NetNewsCheck, Sept. 24, 2013
Why I Subscribe to The Ann Arbor Chronicle (Part 2) – Jon Udell, Aug. 1, 2013
Chronicling government requires hard work and a dash of idealism – The Ann Magazine, July 2013
A news future in feisty upstarts? – Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 11, 2012
Why I Subscribe to The Ann Arbor Chronicle – Jon Udell, Oct. 30, 2012
Audit Notes – Columbia Journalism Review, Sept. 20, 2012
Four Years Later, The Ann Arbor Chronicle Is Still Weird & Wonky – and It’s Growing – Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab, Sept. 19, 2012
The Newsphere: Understanding the News and Information Environment: How The Ann Arbor Chronicle Creates Value – section in the 2012 book by Christine M. Tracy.
Hyperlocal Heroes – American Journalism Review, September 2011
Even When the Press Fails, We Win – Poor Mojo’s Newswire, April 7, 2011
Michigan’s Morphing Media – The Quill (Society of Professional Journalists), Feb. 2, 2011
In Hyperlocal News, Where’s the Urgency? – Poynter Institute, The Biz Blog, Sept. 17, 2010
Three Things a Citizen News Site Can Teach Us – Technically Journalism, Aug. 17, 2010
Passion Is What Helps Pay for The Chronicle – Crain’s Detroit Business, July 19, 2010
Media Landscape Shifts Online in a Wired Town – PBS Newshour’s Patchwork Nation series, Dec. 8, 2009
WordPress, Twitter, the Elks Club: 10 new routines at a news startup – Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab, Sept. 11, 2009
That’s All, Folks! See You Online – London Sunday Times, Aug. 23, 2009
Ann Arbor Entrepreneur Went Online-Only Before Her Former Paper Did – PoynterOnline, Aug. 17, 2009
Ann Arbor Kills Its Newspaper – To Save It – Time, Aug. 17, 2009
Newhouse’s AnnArbor.com Enters a Crowded Field Next Week – PoynterOnline, July 14, 2009
Businesses We Can Be Passionate About – Current, April 2009
Recession? Local News Sites Are Hanging Tough – Online Journalism Review, Feb. 26, 2009