New Reckon top editor, leadership

Veteran journalist and news leader Ryan “R.L.” Nave has joined Reckon as its top editor where he will lead editorial strategy for the brand and oversee its multi-platform digital expansion to serve millennials and Gen-Xers who live in the Deep South.

Nave was editor-in-chief of Mississippi Today from May 2018 to April 2020. After helping launch the nonprofit newsroom in early 2016, he served as a reporter and news editor overseeing coverage of the Legislature, courts and the environment.

“I’m a child of the Great Migration. My people come from Mississippi and Arkansas. I returned to the South nearly nine years ago not just to cover problems, but also because I’m inspired by the courage and resilience that has enabled Southerners to produce some of the world’s best literature, music, food and art,” Nave said. “And if you look at history, it’s often been young people telling the painful, messy story of the South and young folks doing the work of pushing it towards the best version of itself.”

“In these uncertain times, with the South and its young people likely to most feel the impacts, it’s so important to have a space like Reckon to give people the news and information they need to participate in civic life, develop solutions and write the next chapters for the South.”

Previously, Nave was an editor and reporter at the Jackson (Miss.) Free Press as well as an independent journalist in Albuquerque, N.M., Boulder, Colo., and Seattle covering business and environmental issues. He also covered local and state government for the (Springfield) Illinois Times.

“Ryan brings a deep understanding of journalism, audiences and innovation,” said Kelly Ann Scott, vice president of content for Alabama Media Group. “Bold, creative leadership is what the world of journalism needs right now. We’re so fortunate to have Ryan join us and bring all of that to Reckon.”

Nave’s leadership team includes Rebecca Walker Benjamin, who leads audience development and Reckon Women;  Desmond “Dez” Wilson, who leads creative and video storytelling; and John Hammontree, managing producer and creator of the award-winning podcast series The Reckon Interview.

Founded in 2017, Reckon is committed to deep exploration of tough and important issues facing the South through authentic conversations that lead to thoughtful actions. It’s a brand of journalism that joins with our audience in telling the stories about the shaping of our region’s future.

“I think it’s past time to redefine journalism and reimagine the role of journalists. There will always be a need for smart, fearless reporting on pressing issues before us. But journalists can play an important part in facilitating conversations and giving people information, tools and resources to be engaged citizens. This is not activism or advocacy; it’s what we’ve been trained to do,” Nave said.

“With so many of us now disconnected from our loved ones and the institutions we’ve come to rely on, finding ways to connect people and strengthen common bonds within our communities is the most important work journalists can do.”

Reckon’s journalistic work, as part of, has garnered major awards, including multiple Emmys and a Pulitzer Prize. We have partnered with Google, Facebook and other community-building brands to forge paths and tell the stories of Our South.

The brand includes The Reckon Interview, an award-winning podcast; Reckon Women, a  nationally recognized social media conversation and investigative reporting effort about women in the South; and Chasing Corruption, an award-winning Facebook Watch video series.

Reckon is a part of one of America’s largest media companies – Advance.  Advance owns and operates Conde’ Nast, which publishes The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ, Architectural Digest, Stage Entertainment and much more.  Advance is a major shareholder in Discovery Channel, Charter Communications, WIRED, and Reddit.

The Reckon Report.
Sign up to receive the Reckon Report newsletter in your inbox every Tuesday.