“[A]s the invaluable Mississippi Free Press tells us, the Lost Cause is still making mischief.”
– Esquire Magazine
MFP Impact, Awards and Media Coverage – 2022
Since the Mississippi Free Press launched on March 15, 2020, just as COVID-19 was hitting the state, the team’s journalism has had a significant impact, as well as drawn consistent attention from other media. Following is a reverse timeline of impact, media collaborations, and international, national, and state media mentions and pickups.
Dec. 29, 2022
Planetizen drew from reporting by MFP’s Nick Judin in their story about the most recent hit to Jackson’s water system, the winter storm that affected much of the country and resulted in a new boil-water notice in Jackson.
Esquire and the World Socialist Web Site drew from another of Nick Judin’s pieces on the status of Jackson’s water system, quoting from an interview with the manager appointed by the Department of Justice to administer the overhaul of the system.
Dec. 22, 2022
The Mississippi Free Press is excited to announce that ProPublica has chosen us as one of five partner newsrooms that will work with them in the next year through their 2023 Local Reporting Network. MFP reporter Nick Judin will be working closely with the ProPublica editorial staff, along with our own, as one of their local journalists. Nick, whose award-winning work covering the effects of COVID-19 in the state and the Jackson water crises have brought him national acclaim, will continue his work with MFP, in collaboration with ProPublica, as our infrastructure reporter.
Dec. 18, 2022
Tupelo’s Daily Journal republished MFP reporter Nick Judin’s story about $47 million in unspent TANF funds left on the table by the state of Mississippi this year.
Dec. 17, 2022
In his essay “The Rot at the Core of the News Business,” part of NeimanLab’s “Predictions for Journalism 2023,” Christoph Mergerson shouted out MFP as an example of nonprofit news organizations that are distinguishing themselves in their communities.
Dec. 14, 2022
Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung quoted MFP reporter Nick Judin for its story about the ongoing difficulties facing Jackson in the wake of the most recent water crisis.
Dec. 13, 2022
The Death Penalty Information Center referenced Ashton Pittman’s reporting in its story about former prosecutor Doug Evans’ defeat in his bid to become a circuit court judge in Mississippi’s Fifth Congressional District. The popular podcast “In the Dark” made Evans notorious in recent years as the man responsible for trying Curtis Flowers six times for the same crime.
Dec. 12, 2022
Investigation Discovery’s “Crimefeed” referenced reporter Stacey Cato’s work in the story about the discovery of the dismembered body of 24-year-old Seth Coulter Odom in Pearl River County.
Dec. 9, 2022
Sports and pop culture blog The Comeback cited reporting by MFP senior reporter Ashton Pittman and William Pittman in its story about Brett Favre’s texted appeals to Gov. Tate Reeves, as the TANF scandal continued to unfold.
Dec. 7, 2022
Report For America chose the MFP as a member newsroom for 2023 and 2024. With the help of RFA, we are hiring an additional journalist to focus on education reporting as part of our upcoming Education Equity Solutions Lab.
Dec. 2, 2022
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reprinted MFP reporter Nick Judin’s story about the anouncement of an interim third-party manager to oversee the city’s water system.
Dec. 2, 2022
In response to a legal complaint filed by the MFP and reporter Nick Judin after the House speaker denied Nick entry to a meeting of the House Republican Caucus, the Mississippi Ethics Commission voted 5-3 against a recommendation to affirm that the Mississippi House of Representatives is a “public body” that is subject to the Mississippi Open Meetings Act. The MFP will appeal the decision in Hinds County Chancery Court, as stated in the joint statement from the MFP and the Mississippi Center for Justice.
News organizations, both in-state and around the nation, have been watching and reporting on this ruling and what it means for transparency in state government. Outlets reporting on it include: The Columbus (Miss.) Dispatch, which published multiple pieces on the topic, Mississippi Today, The Parents’ Campaign, The Daily Journal (Tupelo, Miss.), The Daily Leader (Brookhaven, Miss), U.S. News &World Report, Northern Kentucky Tribune and the Associated Press.
Nov. 30, 2022
The Daily Mississippian referenced Ashton Pittman’s reporting in their piece on the United States Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Nov. 29, 2022
Star Trek fan site Redshirtsalwaysdie.com based their story on MFP culture reporter Aliyah Veal’s feature about the Jackson chapter of the Starfleet International Star Trek Fan Association’s donation to a local charity.
Nov. 27, 2022
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reprinted reporter Nick Judin’s coverage of the allegation by D’Monterrio Gibson’s attorney that his client’s case was handled shoddily.
Nov. 25, 2022
The Coachella Valley Independent quoted at Substack post by MFP reporter Ashton Pittman in their piece about the future of Twitter. In his post, Ashton explains how important Twitter has been to his work and the Mississippi Free Press.
Nov. 25, 2022
The Meridian Star republished Dustin Cardon’s culture piece about a couple raising alpacas on their farm in a tiny South Mississippi town.
Nov. 21, 2022
The New York Post, Law and Crime, and Sportskeeda, all drew from MFP reporter Ashton Pittman’s reporting for their stories on the attempted murder charges filed against the white father and son accused of shooting at Black FedEx driver D’Monterrio Gibson.
Nov. 11, 2022
Mother Jones referenced reporting from MFP reporter Kayode Crown in their story about leaked audio of the Brookhaven police chief following a protest of the handling of a Black FedEx driver’s allegation that he was chased and shot at by two white men.
Nov. 6, 2022
The (Tupelo) Daily Journal reprinted the investigative report by MFP senior reporter Ashton Pittman and William Pittman that uncovered 97 changes to polling places across the state since the 2020 election.
Nov. 1, 2022
A story published in the Washington Post and the Winnipeg Free Press drew from reporting by MFP reporter Kayode Crown in their story on the appointment of an outside receiver to take over operations at Hinds County Raymond Detention Center.
Oct. 29, 2022
In their story about the Mississippi Welfare Scandal and its implications for the welfare system as we know it, The Atlantic credited MFP reporter Ashton Pittman as one of the “tenacious reporters” responsible for bringing the story to light.
Oct. 28, 2022
The Mississippi Free Press continued its pattern of drawing national and regional honors when it was awarded the Community Engagement Award, Medium/Large Revenue Tier, at the 2022 LION Local Journalism Awards in Austin, Tex. MFP’s “Black Women, Systemic Barriers and COVID-19” project was recognized by the judges because of its “thorough and organized approach,” and the ability “to build trust with the community they serve and then offer a platform for them to share the specific challenges they face every day.”
MFP was also chosen as a finalist for both the Public Service Award, for Nick Judin’s series “Ridgeland Mayor Demands LGBTQ+ Book Purge, Threatens Library Funding”, and the Revenue Campaign of the Year Award, for the “Solutions for Mississippi” spring fundraising campaign.
Oct. 21, 2022
In their stories about the EPA’s investigation into Mississippi’s use of federal funds in the lead-up to the recent water crisis, both MSNBC’s The ReidOut Blog and Planetizen referenced MFP reporter Ashton Pittman’s reporting of the story.
Oct. 17, 2022
MFP reporter Nick Judin’s in-depth reporting on the situation facing residents of a Cleveland, Miss. low-income housing complex where a woman and her young daughter recently died as a result of a gas leak was instrumental in raising the profile of the story, resulting in the issuance of a temporary restraining order blocking residents from being forced to move back into the potentially unsafe buildings, followed, days later, by a judge’s order of an independent investigation of the apartment complex.
Judin’s reporting of the original story was the basis of a story published by Revolt and Yahoo News.
The University of Mississippi School of Law reprinted Judin’s follow-up story on the issuance of the temporary restraining order.
Oct. 14-17, 2022
Citing work by MFP reporter Ashton Pittman and William Pittman, a coalition of civil rights and voting rights groups sent a letter to Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson demanding changes that ensure Mississippi voters have access to accurate information about polling sites. Organizations signing the letter included the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the ACLU of Mississippi, Black Voters Matter, the Mississippi Center For Justice, the Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law, the Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable, One Voice and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Hattiesburg Patriot reprinted Ashton Pittman’s story about the coalition’s missive, the reason it was deemed necessary, and solutions proposed by the civil rights groups.
Oct. 14, 2022
The Meridian Star reprinted MFP reporter Nick Judin’s story about the push by a group of Mississippi lawmakers to legalize fentanyl test strips, which are used to detect the presence of the dangerous drug.
Oct. 12, 2022
MFP Reporter Ashton Pittman’s ongoing coverage of the Mississippi Welfare Scandal was referenced by Black Sports Online, Cassius Life, and Marca in their stories covering Brett Favre’s continued denial of wrongdoing.
Oct. 6, 2022
Politifact used reporting by MFP reporters Ashton Pittman and Nick Judin in their investigation into the veracity of viral social media posts asserting that, while appropriating billions of dollars of aid to Ukraine, the United States government had not allotted any funds to help repair Jackson’s failed water system.
The Daily Caller referenced MFP Reporter Kayode Crown’s reporting in their story about Jackson’s looming (at the time) cessation of city-wide garbage service.
Oct. 3, 2022
MFP reporter Ashton Pittman appeared on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes to discuss the latest in the Mississippi Welfare Fraud Scandal.
Jezebel cited Ashton Pittman’s work in their story about the expected increase in the number of babies to be born into the state now that the Dobbs ruling has been passed.
In their story on how the shortage of government workers contributed to Jackson’s water crisis, Governing.com referenced Nick Judin’s interview with EPA officials who said the city had not sought to hire new employees to staff the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant.
Sept. 30, 2022
Ecowatch cited MFP reporter Kayode Crown’s work in their story about the NAACP’s federal race discrimination complaint against the state.
Sept. 28, 2022
4 State News referenced MFP’s reporting in their piece questioning why some companies still standing by Brett Favre.
Sept. 26, 2022
The Tennessee Tribune republished MFP reporter Nick Judins’ story “Rep. Bennie Thompson Seeks $200 Million Federal Aid For Jackson Water System.”
Planetizen cited the same story in their piece placing the cost of repairing Jackson’s water system at $1 Billion.
Sept. 22, 2022
Reporting by Ashton Pittman and William Pittman has been referenced by numerous outlets around the country as interest in Mississippi’s welfare scandal has increased. Their work has been cited in The Daily Beast, Esquire, Daily Kos, Wonkette, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Sports again, At The Buzzer, Total Packers, The Sports Column, The Wisconsin Examiner, Urban Milwaukee, The Wausau Pilot and Review, Boardroom, 2 Urban Girls, and Claytoonz.
Sept. 21, 2022
The Mississippi Free Press’ co-founder, publisher and chief revenue officer Kimberly Griffin was awarded the prestigious Emerging Leader of the Year award at the 2022 Nonprofit News Awards in Los Angeles, Calif. The award honors an individual with fewer than five years in executive leadership whose approach to sustainability, equity and inclusion, and community service makes them a luminary in the field.
At the same event, MFP deputy editor Azia Wiggins received an honorable mention to the Nonprofit Newcomer of the Year award.
Congratulations to both Kimberly and Azia! The recognition is well deserved, and the MFP team couldn’t be prouder.
Sept. 19, 2022
In chapter five of its recent publication,”‘Not normal’: What local newsrooms can do now to prepare for a series of historic elections,” the American Press Institute used the MFP’s partnership with the Black Voters Matter Fund to produce our Mississippi Trusted Elections Project 2022 as an example of creative and collaborative funding of election coverage.
The Athletic gave a shout out to the “remarkable reporting” of Ashton Pittman and William Pittman on the welfare scandal and the role Brett Favre played in it in their “The Ink Report” column.
Sept. 18, 2022
Business Insider cited the reporting of MFP reporters Kayode Crown and Ashton Pittman on the lifting of Jackson’s most recent boil water notice in their story on Governor Tate Reeves’ comments at a Hattiesburg ground-breaking event.
Sept. 16, 2022
Common Dreams referenced reporting from both Ashton Pittman and Nick Judin in their story on the continuing possibility that Jackson’s water system will be privatized.
Sept. 15, 2022
The Mississippi Free Press has been named a finalist in three categories of the 2022 LION Local Journalism Awards. The three categories are : Revenue Campaign of the Year (Medium/Large Revenue Tier), for our Solutions for Mississippi Campaign; Community Engagement Award (Medium/Large Revenue Tier), for our Black Women, Systemic Barriers and COVID-19 Project; and Public Service Award (Medium/Large Revenue Tier), for our reporting on the Ridgeland Library story.
The winners will be announced at the Independent News Sustainability Summit in Austin, Texas, October 27-29.
Sept. 14, 2022
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes referenced Ashton Pittman’s reporting on House Speaker Philip Gunn’s “Commission on Life” in his monologue on his show, All In with Chris Hayes.
Sept. 13, 2022
Time referenced MFP reporter Nick Judin’s reporting in their story about how the water crisis may have put Mayor Lumumba’s vision for the city out of reach.
In its story drawing parallels between Jackson’s failing water system and conditions in Michigan cities Flint and Benton Harbor, Michigan Advance drew from MFP’s Ashton Pittman’s reporting that privatization of the city’s water system is being considered.
Sept. 12, 2022
The Laurel Leader-Call reprinted State Auditor Shad White’s response to criticism of his office’s report on the consequences of fatherlessness, first published as an MFP Voices piece.
Sept. 10, 2022
Following up on the earlier story by Kayode Crown, MFP again collaborated with The Guardian, this time co-publishing a story by reporters Nick Judin and Ashton Pittman about the on-going crisis.
Fighting Hawks Magazine’s story on the state of Jackson’s water system referenced reporting on the issue by both Kayode Crown and Nick Judin.
Sept. 6, 2022
Reporter Ashton Pittman’s recent story covering issues raised in Governor Tate Reeves’ Labor Day news conference was referenced by The Hill and Common Dreams in their ongoing coverage of the crisis.
Sept. 2, 2022
Salon’s story examining the causes of the current water crisis drew from previous MFP reporting.
Texas Metro News’ story looking back at the history of Jackson’s water issues drew from the work of the Mississippi Free Press, as well as earlier reporting done by the Jackson Free Press.
Sept. 1, 2022
The Mississippi Free Press worked in conjunction with The Guardian to co-publish Reporter Kayode Crown’s story of the reasons for the failure of the city’s water sysem.
Journalist Mehdi Hasan quoted MFP Editor and CEO Donna Ladd’s reporting in his monologue on MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan Show.
On the same day, Donna was interviewed about the water crisis on CBS News. That interview was quoted in The Washington Examiner’s story. refuting her position.
Aug. 31, 2022
Reporter Ashton Pittman appeared on ABC News to discuss the current water crisis.
Ja’han Jones, writing for MSNBC’s The ReidOut Blog, referenced a piece written by MFP Editor and CEO Donna Ladd and published last year on NBCNews.com.
Reporter Kayode Crown’s work was referenced in BET’s story on the water crisis.
The Guardian built on a recent MFP Voices story by Jackson educator Erica Jones in its story “Jackson Water Crisis Heaps More Disruption on City’s Schoolchildren.”
Reporter Nick Judin’s work revealing a damning report from the EPA in the days prior to the water system’s failure has been referenced in pieces by CNN and Ark Republic.
Aug. 30, 2022
Reporter Nick Judin discussed the current crisis on PBS News Hour.
Aug. 29, 2022
When the city of Jackson became national news due to a water crisis brought on by recent flooding and the city’s already failing water system, many national and international news organizations featured reporting and reporters from the Mississippi Free Press.
Beginning with reporter Nick Judin’s story about the current crisis, MFP’s ongoing coverage has been referenced by organizations including Esquire, Huffpost, Complex, Common Dreams, News18, Planetizen, Mic, World Socialist Web Site, The Real News Network and Yahoo.
Congratulations to the Mississippi Free Press’ Kimberly Griffin and Azia Wiggins for being named as finalists for awards in the 2022 Nonprofit News Awards. Kimberly, our co-founder, Publisher and Chief Revenue Officer, is in the running for “Emerging Leader of the Year,” while Azia, Deputy Editor for Voices and Systemic Reporting at MFP, is a finalist for “Nonprofit Newcomer of the Year.” The awards are presented by the Institute for Nonprofit News. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on September 21.
Aug. 25, 2022
The Daily Leader published a story building on MFP Reporter Kayode Crown’s reporting of death threats received by a Black FedEx driver who had reported being shot at by two white men while he delivered packages in Brookhaven, Mississippi earlier this year.
Aug. 24, 2022
Senior Reporter Ashton Pittman’s story “A Wrong Never Righted,” about the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision to uphold a 1890 Jim Crow law designed to disenfranchise Black citizens, has been referenced in numerous national and international news outlets such as the New York Daily News, The Root, The Independent, Yahoo News, Raw Story, Tag 24, History News Network, Reason and Indisputable with Dr. Rashad Richey.
Aug. 22, 2022
The University of Mississippi News reported on three UM alumni who have recently been recognized for their outstanding journalism. Nick Judin, Torsheta Jackson, and Grace Marion were recently recognized by the 2022 Diamond Journalism Awards for reporting published by the Mississippi Free Press
Aug. 21, 2022
North Mississippi’s Daily Journal republished reporter Ashton Pittman’s story about the decision of an abortion bill manufacturer to drop its federal lawsuit challenging Mississippi’s abortion laws.
Aug. 19, 2022
The Meridian Star republished Dustin Cardon’s story featuring Meridian’s annual festival known as SummerFest.
Democrats.org, the website of the Democratic National Committee, included reporter Ashton Pittman’s story “Fact Checking Mississippi Leaders’ Claims About Inflation Reduction Act” in their round-up of stories from around the nation about the passage of the bill into law.
Aug. 16, 2022
Becker’s Healthcare quoted Nick Judin’s reporting on state Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney’s proposed new regulations in the wake of the UMMC–Blue Cross Blue Shield dispute.
Aug. 12, 2022
The Meridian Star republished Lukas Flippo’s in-depth piece, “Bringing Light to the Spirits” about the Concord Quarters Bed and Breakfast and the archeological excavation of the grounds around it.
Aug. 5, 2022
The Meridian Star republished (second part here) reporter Nick Judin’s long-form piece, “Small Business Owners on the Edge of COVID019 Wait Years for Help.”
Aug. 2, 2022
In its “Are Embryos Dependents?” article, Forbes quoted reporter Ashton Pittman’s interview with Laurie Bertram-Roberts from his “‘Sneaky’ Personhood?” piece.
Aug. 1, 2022
After federal Judge Carlton Reeves announced he was placing the Hinds County Detention Center into receivership (after months of award-winning reporter by MFP reporter Kayode Crown on conditions there), the Oklahoma Free Press reported that Kayode’s journalism had inspired conversation before the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority (Jail Trust) board to question dangerous conditions there.
July 29, 2022
C-Span Classroom used freelance writer Jaclyn Nolan’s long-form piece, the “Legal Lynching of Willie McGee in Mississippi’s Traveling Electric Chair,” as part of a lesson plan on African American women in arts and literature.
July 21, 2022
The USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism published reporter Nick Judin’s explanation of his 2022 national fellowship project looking at evictions through a public health and equity lens.
The Hill, Yahoo News, Breitbart, WIVB (Buffalo, N.Y.), Oklahoma News 4, WBCI in Columbus, Miss., and other outlets reported on Ashton Pittman’s breaking story on the Mississippi Department of Education’s repeal of it 1990 anti-gun policy, which brought the policy in line with state law. After the story went viral, the Mississippi Department of Education attempted damage control by releasing a misleading statement accusing Ashton and other outlets of spreading “misinformation,” which several state outlets repeated. However, the Associated Press and SuperTalk were among outlets that did accurate followups.
July 18-20, 2022
The Root and Yahoo News quoted reporter Ashton Pittman’s “‘Sneaky’ Personhood?” abortion report in its piece on Sen. Marco Rubio’s efforts to begin child-support payments at conception, as did WLTX TV in Columbia, S.C., Source Weekly in Oregon, and others.
July 17, 2022
MFP Editor Donna Ladd and Advisory Board member Keith Beauchamp appeared on the Keep Hope Alive with Jesse Jackson and host daughter Santita Jackson to talk about the Emmett Till case and, specifically, the unserved arrested warrant of Carolyn Bryant Donham. Watch program here.
July 15, 2022
Remezcla featured MFP multimedia interns Lukas Flippo and Z’eani Furdge’s story, video and photos of an LGBTQ+ queerceñera in Jackson, Miss.
Reporter Ashton Pittman’s report about accusations that Mississippi U.S. senators were sponsoring a bill as a potentially “sneaky” way to help prevent abortion and contraception past fertilization drew international media attention including Daily Mail and Jezebel.
July 8, 2022
Reporter Nick Judin’s story on the discovery of an unserved arrest warrant in the Emmett Till case was referenced in stories in both the New York Daily News and the Atlanta Black Star in their reporting on groups of activists protesting outside the senior living facility in which Carolyn Bryant Donham, for whom the warrant was issued, is believed to reside.
July 7, 2022
Above The Law referenced Ashton Pittman’s reporting in their story about a Mississippi judge presiding over a hearing related to the state’s abortion “trigger law” opening the proceedings with a Christian prayer.
July 6, 2022
USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism announced that reporter Nick Judin is one of its 26 national fellows. His reporting project for the next year will focus on evictions and health equity.
July 2, 2022
The Tennessee Tribune republished Aliyah Veal’s feature about Mississippi music icon Dorothy Moore and the recent honor she received with the unveiling of her Mississippi Blues Trail marker.
June 30, 2022
The Society of Professional Journalists, Arkansas Pro Chapter has named MFP reporter Kayode Crown their Diamond Journalist of the Year award. The regional competition judges submissions of work by journalists from seven southern states, and was held in Little Rock, Ark.
MFP staff won seven first-place awards and 15 total honors–including three of the competitions top honors.
Congratulations to Kayode and everyone recognized from our phenomenal team!
June 29, 2022
Reporter Ashton Pittman’s story on Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn’s remarks about his belief that a 12-year-old rape victim should be forced to give birth to her father or uncle’s child makes international headlines, including at The Washington Post, MSNBC, The Daily Mail, AL.com, The Hill, Business Insider, Business Insider Africa, The New Civil Rights Movement, Alternet, WJBF, Yahoo, SuperTalk, WAPT, NBC4i, ABC27, CNY, Healthy Family News, Fox46, David Parkman Show and The Young Turks.
June 28, 2022
Slate’s What Next podcast featured reporter Ashton Pittman discussing the long-time history of national organizations working with and inside Mississippi to become the state that overturned Roe v. Wade. Ashton, who has covered the abortion issue for 12 years in Mississippi, was previously part of an evangelical group and protested outside the state’s only abortion clinic as a teenager. He also address efforts to roll back LGBTQ+ rights, including from his perspective as a married, gay man in Mississippi. Read a transcript of the podcast here.
June 25, 2022
Ashton Pittman’s reporting on the status of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, also known as the Pink House, in the wake of the U. S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade, as well as the organizations’s lawsuit attempting to stop the state’s “trigger ban” from going into effect was cited by the Washington Examiner, ABA Journal, and Orlando News Station.
June 24, 2022
U.S. Supreme Court Justices Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan cited and quoted reporter Ashton Pittman’s 2019 story in the Jackson Free Press on Mississippi leaders’ anti-abortion strategy on page 205 in their dissent to the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health organization, overturning Roe v. Wade. Also, Ashton’s 2021 Mississippi story on anti-abortion strategy appeared on the Authorities list in an amicus brief to the Dobbs case that 236 members of Congress submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. See pages V and 13.
California Healthline included Ashton Pittman’s story on the US Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in its roundup of stories on the subject from national news outlets.
Editor Donna Ladd is a contributor to the book, “Necessary Conversations: Understanding Racism as a Barrier to Achieving Health Equity” (Oxford University Press), which published today. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation produced the book, edited by Dr. Alonzo L. Plough.
June 21, 2022
Media Matters cited reporter Ashton Pittman’s reporting on former Mississippi legislator Robert Foster’s remarks about committing violence against trans people in a story about extremist calls for vigilantism against LGBTQ+ people.
June 14, 2022
The Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting republished Nick Judin’s sobering piece about the state of healthcare for mothers and babies in Mississippi.
May 31, 2022
MFP co-founder Kimberly Griffin’s piece announcing MFP’s acquisition of the journalism assets of the Jackson Free Press was republished by the Biloxi Local News & Events and Newsbreak.
May 28, 2022
The Meridian Star republished culture reporter Aliyah Veal’s feature about young people leading a dance festival to celebrate the Choctaw homeland near Philadelphia, Miss.
May 27, 2022
The Daily Journal (Tupelo) republished state reporter Nick Judin’s story “Even After COVID Calm, Mississippi’s Medical System is Reeling.”
May 22, 2022
The Clarion-Ledger drew from Torsheta Jackson’s reporting for its story on the Southern Soul Black Invitational Rodeo in Tunica, Miss.
May 17, 2022
AlterNet cited Ashton Pittman’s reporting in their report “The sneaky way that despotic Mississippi Republicans are eyeing a ban on contraceptives.”
May 16, 2022
The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, RevLab at The Texas Tribune and Spotlight PA announced that the Mississippi Free Press is one of 24 newsrooms across the U.S. in the pilot launch of the Statewide News Collective, a new community for news organizations serving statewide audiences. Read about the Statewide News Collective here
May 15, 2022
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO featured contributing reporter Christian Middleton’s in-depth piece on the Kemper County “clean coal” plant boondoggle (starts about 12:00).
May 13, 2022
Black Enterprise cited Ashton Pittman’s reporting of Judge Carlton Reeves’ presidential nomination as first Black chair of U.S. Sentencing Commission.
May 12, 2022
Editor & Publisher magazine named Editor Donna Ladd one of its 2022 E&P Editors Extraordinaire. Donna was congratulated by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in their “At a Glance” news and media blog. Donna was a fellow from Class One of WKKF’s Community Leadership Network with the Center for Creative Leadership.
Memeorandum highlighted Ashton Pittman’s story about a Pearl River County high school teacher who was warned that sharing her LGBTQ identity was a fireable offense.
May 5, 2022
Kayode Crown’s reporting on the fight of immigration advocates to free Lladi Ambrocio-Garcia, a former chicken plant worker who was deported after the August 2019 ICE raid on Koch Foods in Morton, Miss. has been cited in multiple stories by Daily Kos, reprinted in ChronLaw, and referenced by Republic Americas, 6Park and French-language outlet What’s Now News.
May 4, 2022
April 30, 2022
Editor Donna Ladd physically received her pandemic-delayed Columbia Graduate School of Journalism Alumni Award at the school’s Alumni Weekend on campus in New York City.
April 29, 2022
History News Network (HNN) republished a portion of culture reporter Aliyah Veal’s story on the Deacons for Defense in Natchez, with a link to the full story.
April 19, 2022
The Society of Professional Journalists’ Diamond Awards announced that 14 Mississippi Free Press team members as well as Jackson Advocate collaborate DeAnna Tisdale Johnson are finalists for work produced in 2021. (Creative Director Kristin Brenemen is also included but not yet added to the finalist list on the site.) The Diamond Awards are for journalism produced in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi.
April 12, 2022
The Daily Leader (Brookhaven, Miss.) followed up information in reporter Nick Judin’s March 31 report on the UMMC dispute with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi.
April 11, 2022
The Washington Post followed up and cited reporter Ashton Pittman’s reporting on Black women in Mississippi warning that Mississippi’s new Equal Pay Law could prove worse for women than not having one at all.
Ashton broke the news that Gov. Tate Reeves had again declared Confederate Heritage Month after a Jackson reader, JAllen, discovered it posted again on a neo-Confederate Facebook page in Reeves’ home county. MFP Editor Donna Ladd found it on the same page last year, breaking the news of the 2021 proclamation, which Mississippi governors never publicize themselves. The news again drew much regional and national media coverage including the Associated Press, ABC News, Business Insider, HipHop Wired, The Root, Newsweek, Business Insider Africa, The Independent (U.K.), Blavity, Essence, Above the Law, The Mind Shield, Columbus (Miss.) Dispatch, WLOX TV, Magnolia State Live, Mankota (Calif.) Free Press, NewsBreak, ABC24 (LocalMemphis.com), Lexington (Ky.) Herald Leader, The Tribune (Calif.), Salon, U.S. News & World Report, MSN, Yahoo News, AOL.com, AM870 The Answer (Glendale, Calif.), Star Herald (Scotts Bluff, Neb.), Globe Gazette (Mason City, Iowa), Alternet, The Public’s Radio (Providence, R.I.), The American Independent, Second Nexus, and KTVH (Helena, Mon.).
April 7, 2022
The Lenfest Institute did an in-depth interview with Jackson Advocate Publisher DeAnna Tisdale, who collaborates with the MFP on the “(In)Equity and Resilience: Black Women, COVID-19 and Systemic Barriers” project. DeAnna talked about owning a newspaper, the trajectory of her career, and the relationship between the Advocate and the MFP and how the collaboration is helping as her as a young woman publisher.
April 4, 2022
Agence France-Presse, a Paris-based international news agency, published an in-depth piece on Jackson’s water crisis, both citing reporter Nick Judin’s multi-part 2021 Jackson water/infrastructure investigation and interviewing him, including distributing a Getty Images photo of Nick taken in Jackson. Many news outlets in multiple countries ran the piece including Radio France Internationale, Le Courrier Cauchois (Normandy), Inquirer.net (Phillipines), RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg (Luxembourg), France24.com, La Nouvelle République (Tours, Centre-Val de Loire), Arte TV (Strasbourg), Swiss Info (Switzerland), Breitbart News (U.S.), plus others.
April 3, 2022
The Daily Journal (Tupelo) and The Meridian Star reprinted digital editor Dustin Cardon’s feature, “From Depots to Cities: Train Enthusiasts Share Mississippi’s Deep-Rooted Railroad History.”
March 31, 2022
The Death Penalty Information Center cited Ashton Pittman’s contextual piece on the new federal Emmett Till Antilynching Act.
March 30, 2022
The Starkville Dispatch republished reporter Kayode’s Crown’s news feature about Blair Edwards, a Black coffee-shop owner in Starkville who received funding to build out his business.
March 26, 2022
Mississippi Free Press co-founder and editor Donna Ladd was one of eight women to receive the 2022 Legends award at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. The event annually honorswomen of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and women who are making an impact in Mississippi communities. Other honorees were Funmi Franklin, Dr. Lucille Green, Eva Jones, Willie Jones, Pauline Rogers, Kolean Sanders and Dr. Flonzie Brown Wright. Read about all the honorees in a special edition of Woman to Woman Magazine.
March 25, 2022
After reporter Ashton Pittman reported that former GOP legislator and gubernatorial candidate Robert Foster had called on Twitteer for supporters of trans rights to put before firing squads, his story went viral receiving wide media attention, including Vice, Newsweek, Los Angeles Blade, Washington Blade, Advocate, New Civil Rights Movement, Greeley (Colo.) Tribune, OnlySky, BoingBoing, Raw Story, The Present Age, Reddit, JoeMyGod, Lipstick Alley, planet trans, Democratic Underground, Political Wire.
Robert Foster’s Twitter account was deactivated within days of Ashton’s article.
March 24, 2022
The Local Media Association published a case study on the rapid success of the Mississippi Free Press’ revenue growth and donor base in just two years since launching on a shoestring budget in March 2020.
March 15, 2022
Yahoo Sports and later KPVI-TV in Pocatello, Idaho, picked up on Ashton Pittman’s report on Gov. Tate Reeves signing a bill claiming to stop CRT in Mississippi schools.
March 9, 2022
MLK 50 Justice Through Journalism in Memphis republished reporter Ashton Pittman’s contextual report on the passage of federal antilynching legislation 100 years to the day after a white terrorist mob lynched 18-year-old Willie Baker in Monroe County, Miss.
MFP Editor Donna Ladd joined Dr. Otis Sanford, the Hardin Chair of Excellence in Economic and Managerial Journalism at the University of Memphis, on The Markup by Mediaverse Memphis podcast to talk about journalism and democracy, including corporate media abdicating responsibility to cover the truth, the ethical challenges and donor/board influences nonprofit media face, fake both-sides-ism, the broken media advertising model and the reader inequity of paywalls.
Feb. 28, 2022
Reporter Nick Judin covered the Friends of the Ridgeland Library’s presentation of a check from half the $110,000 raised worldwide for funds the local mayor threatened to withhold due to LGBTQ+ books on display. Nick broke the original story, which was used to promote the fund to replace the money in limbo, and wrote several equally impactful followups that brought massive attention to the story.
February 2022, various dates
Reporter Ashton Pittman’s completed three-part series on Christian dominionism and the fight against abortion was discussed widely, including in Church and State, History News Network, Daily Kos and more.
Feb. 4, 2022 – Feb. 12, 2022
Reporter Ashton Pittman’s Feb. 4 interview with FedEx driver D’Monterrio Gibson about his report that two white men in Brookhaven had shot at him multiple times and chased him had dramatic impact, going viral on a Friday night, then leading to many national and regional media outlets picking up Ashton’s reporting. The resulting public response, and outcry against FedEx for wanting Gibson to return to the same route and initially not paying him to take leave, had led to a reversal of FedEx’s decisions within a week, which the MFP’s Kayode Crown reported on Feb. 11. Lawanda Dickens, a Black woman from Brookhaven, was inspired by our overage to submit an MFP Voices column criticizing the Black police chief in Brookhaven. Here are many of media outlets following up and crediting Mississippi Free Press coverage of the FedEx shooting since Feb. 4: The Washington Post, The Guardian, USA Today, NBC News, Yahoo News, Black America Web, The Root, Black Enterprise, The Independent (U.K.), BET, Business Insider, Insider.com, Black Christian News, Atlanta Black Star, Face2Face Africa, HuffPost, Law and Crime Blog, Daily Kos, Daily Advent, News Onyx, Raw Story, Lipstick Alley, Yahoo! Movies, Yahoo! Life, Memeorandom, Reddit, Darik News, HowAfrica.com, Democratic Underground, SeckuryKid.com, 24ssports.com, Indisputable with Dr. Rashad Richey (YouTube), New York Post. NowThisNews ran the full Feb. 10, 2020, press conference of Gibson and his attorneys, crediting the Mississippi Free Press for coverage.
Feb. 3, 2022
Right Wing Watch recommended reporter Ashton Pittman’s “To Rule History With God’: The Christian Dominionist War On Abortion, Part I.”
A Biloxi, Miss., news and event site excerpted reporter Kayode Crown’s MFP piece on Hinds County and its jail consent decree, which the Jackson Free Press had also republished.
Jan. 30, 2022
The Tennessee Tribune, an African American newspaper in Middle Tennessee, asked to republish contributing reporter Grace Marion’s third piece in a series about Muslim residents of Horn Lake, Miss., working with Christian supporters in their successful fight to build the county’s first mosque.
Jan. 28, 2022
Reporter Ashton Pittman broke the story that U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi had told a local conservative Mississippi talk-show host that whomever President Biden picks as the first Black woman U.S. Supreme Court justice would be a “beneficiary” of “affirmative action.” The story, which Ashton broke on a Friday night went viral nationally overnight with the White House sending the MFP a response by the next morning. Many outlets and commentators picked up on Ashton’s story with most, if not all, ethically crediting him for first doing the story. They include: The Washington Post, Mother Jones, Bloomberg, Rolling Stone, Hiphop Wired, Fox News, Political Wire, Daily Beast, Seattle Times, Insider.com, The Mary Sue, Emporia Gazette, Good Word News, Sports Grind Entertainment, Crooks and Liars, Press Informant, Knowledia, LeeDaily.com.
Ashton’s breaking story led to Wicker’s comments being a major topic in Washington and on the Sunday news shows. Here he responds to an AP reporter that he had no further comment. Also Paul Gallo, the talk-show host who seemed to agree with Wicker’s comments to him about Black women on the Supreme Court, was grumpy about the reaction to Ashton’s story on Twitter but Wicker’s comments drew a wide variety of condemnation as well, including from conservative Bill Kristol. Among the national and local outlets who ran with or commented on a story they would not have known about without Ashton’s Jan. 28 report, but without crediting him, were CNN New Republic and Mississippi Today including a cartoon and many others.
Jan. 25, 2022
Reporter Nick Judin broke the news that the Ridgeland, Miss., mayor told the local public library that he planned to withhold funds due to complaints about LGBTQ+ books. The story rapidly went viral drawing state and national outrage, inspired a public donation effort that has so far raised more than $100,000 (pushed by MFP Advisory Board member and author Angie Thomas as well as a Furries campaign, as BoingBoing reported here), and inspired a law student and former police officer from Ridgeland to submit a column to the MFP about books in the library saving her life as a young lesbian growing up there. Media coverage and pick-ups included: Business Insider, Yahoo News, Daily Mail, Newsweek, The Advocate, People Magazine, Vice, South Florida Gay News, Mic, The Hill, LGBTQ Nation, The Clarion-Ledger, Salon, Pink News, Magnolia State Live, New Civil Rights Movement, Daily Kos, Metro Weekly (Washington, D.C.), Truth Out, Alternet, Only Sky Media, Raw Story, JoeMyGod, Democratic Underground, Christianity Daily. The Los Angeles Blade asked to republish Nick’s story.
Jan. 24, 2022
The Meridian Star republished reporter Nick Judin’s follow-up story about suspected links between COVID-19 and pediatric diabetes after a new CDC study confirmed the possible link in January. Nick first wrote in September 2021 about Mississippi doctors warning about these concerns.
Jan. 21, 2022
The Meridian (Miss.) Star republished reporter Kayode Crown’s story, “Thousands Languish in Mississippi Jails Without Lawyers.”
Jan. 21, 2022
Crime Story Daily highlighted reporter Kayode Crown’s indepth piece, Thousands Languish In Mississippi in Jails Without Lawyers,” as did Our Community Now.
Jan. 10, 2022
The Jackson Free Press republished Culture reporter Aliyah Veal’s in-depth feature, “‘No, I Can’t Lose,’ Mississippi Rappers Pass Mic, Change Narrative at Jackson Indie Music Week.” Then Biloxi News Events blurbed the story, linking to the JFP pickup.
Jan. 3, 2022
Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) published a blurb with a link to Kayode Crown’s story “Seeking Solutions to Protect Mississippi Children from Lead Poisoning.”