We persevere through proactive reporting
What times we live in. Who knew that in 2022 we would watch grow congressmen wrongly call 10-year-old girl a ‘liar’ about a 27-year-old man now arrested who raped her – or insisting that any pregnant childmaybe because of her own father, has to give birth? Or that people across the country believe a mother should die, even ectopic pregnanciesrather than her doctor being able to terminate her pregnancy? Or when women can stop receiving treatment for miscarriages?
These are difficult words even to type.
Many people with diverse beliefs about women’s choice to have an abortion are now shocked by these words and efforts to outlaw what they consider an abortion from fertilization (including IUDs, Plan B, and maybe the usual birth control pill). But at the Free Press we knew it would happen, but even many journalists across the United States seem to be shocked by the now national Personality type strategy that Mississippi voters defeated in 2011 — and efforts to nationalize policies that the majority of Mississippians pursued were too extreme and dangerous.
Political reporting, usually written by white men if we are honest, has managed to divide the abortion debate only for years, ignoring so-called “fringe” ideas, simplifying the debate into “pro-life” or “pro -choice “. (if they covered it at all), and appease the politicians they cover and fail to educate the American public about what we at the Mississippi Free Press knew were imminent after Roe v. Wade was overturned. .
Put it like this. Powerful people have long had strategies for changing power in our country that a Pollyannaish press would rather ignore than risk being branded mad, ‘extremist’ or losing coveted access to sound bites to report. facts. I saw it at the Jackson Free Press while preparing Personhood, and I’m seeing the results of it now.
Many assumed that the First Amendment and all other constitutional rights — even those brave Americans who died to allow — would still be there. But too many people only want these rights for themselves and to protect their beliefs.
It goes without saying, Kimberly and I reunited a Mississippi Free Press team who are not easily fooled, who believe in difficult proactive reporting and who point out the causes and then the solutions. Our team is not drawn to the two-way horse-racing model that lets so much vital reporting slip through the cracks and helps to entrench the kind of public and media ignorance that has led us to this moment. . We don’t bow to politicians or parties of any stripe, and strive to anticipate history, not rushing to catch up later.
As someone said to me last week in Los Angeles: “The MFP model needs to spread.
We don’t believe in giving up on frustration, however tempting it may be. Our team stays ahead of the history of abortion, for example, with Ashton Pittman reported last week on potential ‘sneaky’ intent U.S. senators from Mississippi pushing for a nationwide law to require child support payments from fertilization. (Please pay close attention to the word “fertilization” when you see it and ask more questions.)
Last week Nick Judin and I were at the University of Southern California to his new national health scholarship to explore the impact of current eviction practices in Mississippi— especially solutions to report to anticipate another crisis that will worsen and have a myriad of impacts. Our focus on health equity includes examining the causes of and solutions to the disparities that lead to poor health outcomes – it’s hard to stay healthy when you don’t know where your next bed will be.
Back in Jackson last week, Aliyah Veal made a wonderful dive into Jackson’s youth film summer programwho can do much more for prevent violence than whining on Twitter. (On that note, watch for the early return of the Mississippi Youth Media Project and his stunning and innovative journalism by teenage journalists next summer; you can also Reserve YMP Restart Donations Now that he is part of the association Mississippi Journalism and Education Group.)
More, Lukas Flippo made a staggering track about a black businesswoman renovating and working with Mississippi State University to dig a plantation in Natchez and the difficult questions raised about the slaves who worked there.
You, of course, make all this work possible. Please keep spreading the word and give what you can to develop this modelWhere join the cool cats of the MFP VIP Club. The nation is literally watching and sharing what we are doing in Mississippi. It matters.
This MFP Voices essay does not necessarily represent the views of the Mississippi Free Press, its staff, or its board members. To submit an essay for the MFP Voices section, send up to 1,200 words and fact-checking information to [email protected] We welcome a wide variety of viewpoints.