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“[A]s the invaluable Mississippi Free Press tells us, the Lost Cause is still making mischief.

– Esquire Magazine

MFP Impact, Awards and Media Coverage – 2024

(See 2020, 2021, 2022  and 2023 Impact) 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.

May 11, 2024

Wisconsin Sports Heroics used Ashton Pittman and William Pittman’s reporting in their look at the angry reaction toward Brett Favre on social media when another professional athlete was sentenced to prison in a case similar to the one in which Favre is involved.

May 3-10, 2024

MFP Freelance Reporter Stacey Spiehler and Investigative Reporter Nick Judin’s  coverage of a pro-Palestinian protest on the campus of the University of Mississippi went viral when Spiehler captured video of counter-protestors shouting racist abuse at a Black woman graduate student who was participating in the protest. One counter-protester who made monkey sounds and gestures to mock the woman became a particular source of ire as the story gained a wider audience. As reported in the New York Times, Mediaite and The Hill, even the White House  condemned the racist behavior captured in the video.  Other outlets that have addressed the story and/or the video include Time, Mediate, The Guardian,  Complex, Scripps News, Wonkette,  the DM (Daily Mississippian) Online, Rolling Out, The New Civil Rights Movement, NBC15 News, University World News and Know Your Meme.

May 2, 2024

Raw Story used another of Heather’s stories the next day in their story about the state House and Senate’s failure to reach a compromise on the Medicaid expansion bill.

May 1, 2024

MSNBC’s Maddow Blog  referenced two stories by MFP reporter Heather Harrison in their story about the prospect of Mississippi approving Medicaid expansion.

April 30, 2024

The American Press Institute used the MFP’s Solutions Circles as an example of  the press embracing its role as a convener of people across differences, which they say leads to healthier and more responsive news organizations.

April 29, 2024

Mississippi Today referenced reporting by MFP News Editor Ashton Pittman in an editorial piece about the state’s continued observance of Confederate Memorial Day.

April 23, 2024

The Mississippi Free Press recently received the 2024 Robert G. McGruder Diversity Award, for the accomplishments of media professionals who encourage diversity in hiring and coverage. The Poynter Institute awarded this distinction as part of the 2024 Poynter Journalism Prizes. We at MFP are thrilled to be honored with this award in recognition of an aspect of our organization that is so central to our mission and values.

April 18, 2024 used reporting by MFP News Editor Ashton Pittman in their story on recent developments in the Mississippi welfare fraud case. 

April 16, 2024 and the Daily Kos featured reporting by MFP News Editor Ashton Pittman in their stories on Miss. Governor Tate Reeves’ declaration of April as Confederate History Month. The Washington Informer referenced the same piece in an article covering an Alabama bill seeking to update the state’s holiday calendar by adding the observance of Juneteenth and removing that of Jefferson Davis’ birthday.

 April 11, 2024

Buffalo’s Fire reprinted MFP freelance writer Roger Amos’ column reflecting on the significance of the solar eclipse from the perspective of Native American cultures.

MSNBC used reporting from MFP reporters Shaunicy Muhammad and Heather Harrison in their story about the Rankin County “Goon Squad” and calls for the resignation of the Rankin County Sheriff.

April 5, 2024

The Atlanta Black Star, Reason and Essence each used reporting by  MFP Reporter Heather Harrison, in their stories on the attempt by local authorities to remove Aderrian Murry, the 11-year-old Indianola boy who was shot in the chest by a police officer, and  his two siblings from their mother’s custody.

April 3, 2024

MFP Reporter Shaunicy Muhammad’s report on efforts to enact state legislation regarding the handling of unidentified human remains and the atrocities that made the need for such legislation necessary was highlighted by The Bulwark in their Overtime news roundup, while Futurism wrote a piece in reaction to the story, which was also published by Yahoo! News.

The Center for Community Media (CCM) at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY recently announced the inaugural cohort of Fundraising for Community Media, a program designed to support community-based news media that have been historically underserved and underrepresented in philanthropy. MFP’s own Publisher and Co-founder Kimberly Griffin will serve as one of three coach-mentors who will offer the cohort the benefit of their insight and experience. Congratulations, Kimberly on being chosen for this distinguished role. As always, you make us proud.

March 28, 2024

The Atlanta Black Star referenced reporting by MFP ‘s Heather Harrison in their story on a Leland, Miss. teenager allegedly run over and killed by a police officer.

March 1, 2024

The Institute for Nonprofit News’ (INN) Rural News Network-backed collaborative reporting project “Speaking out: Rural communities of color changing the narrative,” in which MFP was honored to be one of six news outlets from across the country  chosen to participate, has been recognized by Editor & Publisher and chosen as one of the top ten journalism  collaborations of 2023 by The Center for Collaborative Media. The MFP’s contribution to the project was an investigation by reporter Christian Middleton into the racial history of Lafayette County, Miss. and the murder of Harry Mitchell there in 1991.

February 26, 2024

The Business of Cannabis  and Investing relied on reporting by MFP’s Heather Harrison in their story about a major Mississippi cannabis testing lab having its license revoked for testing inconsistencies.

February 23, 2024

The Atlanta Black Star credited  reporting by MFP Capitol City Shaunicy Muhammad in their report on the investigation into two Jackson homes that exploded within days of each other.

February 22, 2024

Esquire quotes MFP Reporter Heather Harrison’s story from August about Greenwood LeFlore Hospital’s dire need for funds as part of their coverage of Mississippi’s recent move to consider accepting the offer of Medicaid expansion in their weekly news round-up. 

 February 20, 2024

Vice used and built upon reporting by MFP Investigative Reporter Nick Judin in their story about a group of tenants across the south who are seeking improved living conditions from the Ohio-based company that owns the apartment complexes where they live.

February 16, 2024

The Laurel Leader-Call reprinted MFP Culture Reporter Aliyah Veal’s story about Laurel TikToker Kendria Bland.

February 12, 2024

As a local news outlet, MFP’s decision to publish a story on a national news event, namely statements by former president Donald Trump that he would encourage Russia to attach American allies, became national news in its own right. The merits of that decision were discussed by outlets including  Nieman Lab, Coachella Valley Independent, WAMC Northeast Public Radio, and Media Nation.

February 10, 2024

The Washington Post interviewed MFP News Editor Ashton Pittman for their story about social media platform Meta’s  announcement that they will no longer recommend political content on Instagram or Threads.

Journalist and Northeastern University Journalism Professor Dan Kennedy then used a quote of Ashton from the Washington Post story in a post on his blog, Media Nation, as did

February 2, 2024

KFF Health News featured MFP Reporter  Heather Harrison’s story about  Mississippi House Bill 713, which would criminalize “abortion trafficking,” or the transport of a minor across state lines for the purpose of obtaining an abortion by an adult who is not the parent or legal guardian of the minor, in their Morning Briefing. 

January 24, 2024

The Grio referenced reporting by MFP News Editor Ashton Pittman in their story following up on the case of D’Monterrio Gibson, who was shot at by two white men while delivering packages as a FedEx driver in Brookhaven, Miss. The story was also posted by Yahoo! News.

January 23, 2024

In their story addressing the decision of new Mississippi House Speaker Jason White to continue convening Republican caucus meetings in private, Mississippi Today referenced and recapped the MFP’s role in challenging such meetings as contrary to the state’s Open Meetings Act. The story was reprinted in the Delta Democrat-Times.

January 20, 2024

The Tennessee Tribune reprinted MFP reporter Heather Harrison’s story “Medical Cannabis Advocates Urge Easier Access For Mississippi Patients.”

January 10, 2024

The Poynter Institute, a global leader in journalism, has named MFP Publisher and Co-founder Kimberly Griffin as a fellow of the 2024 Media Transformation Challenge (MTC) Program: A Poynter Institute Executive Fellowship. The cohort of 25 senior executives from media organizations around the country will, over the next year, master tools of performance-driven change, have access to diverse executive coaches and connect with former Fellows.  Congratulations, Kimberly! We are proud to have you representing MFP in this distinguished program.

January 9, 2024

Yahoo! News referred to information from a June 2023 story by MFP News Editor Ashton Pittman in their story about police bodycam footage showing the moment an 11-year-old Indianola boy was shot in the chest by a policeman8-