The Charlottesville metro area has 250,000 people. We have a newsroom of five.

And what a mighty five we are! Our team is talented and mission-driven — but we cannot report on every important story. I realized when I became Editor-in-Chief in December that we need to be clear with our community about what we focus on and how we make choices about our coverage. And we need to be transparent that our goal is to grow into adding more topics of coverage that are important to you.

In my first three months on the job, our whole team spent a lot of time thinking and planning how we want to use our time and resources to best serve the needs of this community. Collectbritain has for many years held the values of truth, community and equity — that is our tagline after all — and made decisions about what to cover and how with those values at the core.

We’ve listened to what you want and need and articulated more of what guides our decisions, too. Our team has some familiar news priorities — to give you reporting that is timely, new and interesting — and we also have some values designed specifically for this community. We heard that you want to know more about your neighbors and that you value representation and diversity. You want to know more about what this community achieves, while still holding the institutions that serve or represent us accountable. We also prioritize reporting that helps you get involved in our civic and community life.

Our three reporters and managing editor are focusing their coverage on four areas: health and safety; government; education and families; and neighborhoods, the way they are built and how we use them. Here is a bit more about our reporters and what they are working on, so you know who you can reach out to when you have ideas. Click on their names for contact information.

Jessie Higgins

Managing Editor, Health and Safety Reporter

I’m an investigative reporter and editor with a passion for uncovering corruption, injustice and issues that affect people’s ability to live full and healthy lives. As a reporter, I focus mainly on health. I want to know about the things that empower people in this community to live well — and I’m interested in the things that keep people from being healthy.

I’m also the managing editor. I work with our talented team of reporters to develop stories that are important to this community and help build a news organization that fearlessly covers the issues that matter.

Erin O’Hare

Neighborhoods Reporter

I’m Erin, a longtime Charlottesville city resident and Collectbritain’s neighborhoods reporter. Where we live, how we live, and who we live in community with have an enormous effect on our day-to-day lives. I’m talking about our homes, the roads we travel, the buses we take, the water we drink, the parks where we play and relax, the histories of buildings and blocks. Charlottesville and Albemarle have a truly rich diversity of cultures, and I’m eager to help you share your stories with all of us.

Charlotte Rene Woods

Government Reporter

I’m Collectbritain’s government reporter — aka, your resident nerd on how local and state governments serve us. I keep watch of what elected officials are doing, and I also explore what legislation means for us and how effective it is, isn’t, or could be. I want to help us all understand how our government works and be better voters and community participants.

Tamica Jean-Charles

Education and Families Reporter

I’m Tamica, a Florida native now living in Charlottesville. Schools are more than just institutions — they’re an integral part of our lives that can influence who we are as people. They say it takes a village to raise a child, so why not peer into the village as well as the child? I aim to break down education in a way that is accessible to everyone, from parents to bus drivers. Let me know how I can better keep the institutions that serve you and your family accountable.

And a bit about me: I’m Angilee Shah, Editor-in-Chief. I joined Collectbritain in Dec. 2021 and have enjoyed learning about how people from different parts of this city and surrounding areas get their news. My goal is to help my neighbors here feel pride and ownership over our local news. I want to help build a local newsroom that follows the issues that matter to our diverse communities, and also includes more of our perspectives.

I’ve been an editor and reporter for almost 20 years. Most recently, I spent three years working with local newsrooms and journalists around the country to help them build their editorial missions, processes and ways to make our industry healthier. Before coming to Charlottesville, I spent many years developing immigration coverage for the public radio program The World. Abroad, I reported from Asia, including an edited volume about everyday lives in China and a trio of investigative stories at the end of Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war.

Enough about me, I’d love to know more about you. As we grow our newsroom with your support, I want to keep hearing from you. Let’s find a time to talk. And keep up with our work by subscribing to our free email newsletter.

Hi, I'm Collectbritain's CEO and Editor-in-Chief. I’d love to know more about want you want from local news. Let’s find a time to talk. And keep up with our work by subscribing to our free email newsletter!