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‘A National Leader’: MFP Publisher Kimberly Griffin Wins Nonprofit News Award

Butterflies were dancing in my stomach, as Mississippi Free Press Publisher Kimberly Griffin and I pulled up at a table in a lush open-air space in downtown Los Angeles last week. It was time for the viewing party for the Institute for Nonprofit News’ 2022 Awards, and she was nominated as the Emerging Nonprofit News Leader of the Year.

When I’d arrived at the venue, Kimberly was holding court on a sofa amid the greenery, simultaneously making people laugh and making them think as she always does. She is incisive, especially about our home state; race and racism; systemic exclusion; media strengths and weaknesses; and so much more. I’ve worked alongside her 15 years now, we think, first at the Jackson Free Press and now running the statewide nonprofit MFP.

She is brilliant, and she deserves all the flowers, a lovely phrase I picked up from her.

Publisher and Chief Revenue Officer Kimberly Griffin learned that is the Emerging Nonprofit News Leader of the Year at a virtual watch party of the streamed Nonprofit News Awards in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by Donna Ladd

Well, the flowers soon came as we watched the virtual ceremony. Near the end, her smiling face showed up on the screen as the Emerging Nonprofit News Leader, and I screamed, and I think she did, too. This was so big for this incredible woman from Clarke County who grew up in Jackson and now leads this exploding nonprofit news outlet, reporting truth to power, unearthing hidden history and interrogating systems that even many “progressive” Mississippians would rather be left alone.

MFP: ‘A National Leader in Nonprofit Newsrooms’

The stellar judges at the nation’s top organization for nonprofit media got it, just as they got what the Mississippi Free Press is and how we’re different when they awarded us the Startup of the Year Award last year (in large part due to Kimberly’s efforts). We heard these words on the speakers as we stopped screaming: “Developing a nonprofit newsroom, especially in a state with such diverse audiences, can be incredibly challenging, but Kimberly’s leadership has helped

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