It’s been a tremendous week at the Mississippi Free Press. Reporter Nick Judin came out of his research-and-writing cave to publish Part 3 of his “Under the Surface” Jackson water and infrastructure series. This deeply reported explanatory piece spans events over 50 years, showing how expensive federal regulation combined with Jackson’s loss of population and tax base after school integration led to the capital city’s crumbling infrastructure and inadequate resources to fix it.
Nick’s piece is another example of the type of journalism we’re “accelerating” across Mississippi as we seek and report both causes and solutions, including important history that is usually ignored.
On that note, we are thrilled to announce that the MFP is one of 30 journalism outlets selected for the Facebook Journalism Project’s Accelerator program for reader revenue in North America. Nearly 300 media outlets applied for the 2021 cohort. This is a big win for our team and for our supporting readers, and I’m happy to lead the team as we receive deep training and guidance that will help grow and sustain the Mississippi Free Press into the future.
Here’s how it works: Our recurring, regular donors are our members, so this training is all about making the membership experience exceptional. So far, hundreds of donors have been generous in supporting the MFP without asking much of us in return—beyond great journalism.
SUPPORT THE MISSISSIPPI FREE PRESS AND HELP POWER SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM IN THE STATE.
Become a member today—one-time or recurring. Thanks!
We love that our readers appreciate the groundbreaking work of our editorial team. You deserve meaningful, rich, and dare I say fun member experiences. Our supporters are a vital part of our team.
That cup of coffee a reader gives up every week or the cost of one takeout lunch shores up MFP’s truth-telling journalism financially, but also mentally. When folks are willing to put skin in the game, it energizes us in ways that are hard to describe. Most days of reporting and growing nonprofit media in Mississippi are long and challenging. Fifty dollars donated from someone in a small Delta town on a Friday afternoon puts a little more fuel in the MFP’s physical and proverbial gas tank.
Our new membership program won’t happen instantly, but our members can expect cool stuff coming to them over the next year—from exclusive talks with our reporting team to special events and treats for our members—and opportunities to actively help us make a difference in Mississippi.
Much as tech entrepreneurs say, “You’ll want to get in on the ground floor of this one.”
See the recurring donate link for the “ground floor.”
Meanwhile, this coming week, check out the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism ceremony on Thursday, April 29, at 6:30 p.m. central time. Donna Ladd, my co-founder and MFP editor, and Ashton Pitman, reporter extraordinaire, are finalists for their series “The Fabric is Torn in Oxford’: UM Officials Decried Racism Publicly, Coddled it Privately,” among an impressive field of national media outlets. I’m super proud of them, as always. They will talk about the UM email series during the ceremony.
Last Thursday, Donna and Nick Judin sat down with Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba to discuss the capital city’s recent water crisis and Jackson’s aging infrastructure on MFP Live.
Meantime, I hope you can give to our new spring MFP Truth-to-Power campaign we’re launching this week at mfp.ms/donate. Remember, if you become a monthly, quarterly or annual member, you’ll start getting invitations and other member perks very soon.
And please reach out to me at [email protected] with ideas of the member perks you would enjoy.
This MFP Voices essay does not necessarily represent the views of the Mississippi Free Press, its staff or board members. To submit an essay for the MFP Voices section, send up to 1,200 words and factcheck information to [email protected]. We welcome a wide variety of viewpoints.