Mississippi Today has announced a $300,000 commitment from the Pittman Family Foundation to support the mission-driven work of its nonprofit newsroom.
The donation of $100,000 a year for three years will bolster the reporting of Mississippi Today’s Pulitzer Prize-winning newsroom, ensuring that more investigations are brought to light, more Mississippians are reached through accountability reporting and more programs are hosted in communities across the state to bring readers closer to the reporting and the issues that impact them most.
“Tom Pittman has been an indispensable partner on our Board since day one,” said Andrew Lack, founder and executive chairman of Deep South Today, the regional network of nonprofit newsrooms that includes Mississippi Today as well as Verite News in New Orleans. “Along with his brother Bob’s extraordinary friendship, thoughtfulness, and generosity over many years, they have been so crucial to our Mississippi journey and beyond.”
Brothers Bob and Tom Pittman are at the heart of the Pittman Family Foundation. As the sons of a Methodist minister, they grew up in various Mississippi towns and graduated from Brookhaven High School.
Bob went on to be a visionary in the world of technology, arts, and entertainment as the CEO and co-founder of MTV: Music Television; the former CEO of Six Flags Theme Parks and Century 21 Real Estate; the former president and chief operating officer of America Online, Inc. (AOL); is co-founder, chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia; and served as chairman of the board of the New York Public Theater and of the poverty-fighting Robin Hood Foundation.
Tom was co-founder, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi after a 25-year career as newspaper editor in Tupelo and DeSoto Counties, has chaired the Mississippi Association of Grantmakers, and the Mississippi Press Association, serves on Entergy Mississippi’s advisory board and as a director of Southern Bancorp Community Partners and of Deep South Today.
“The Pittman Family Foundation is delighted to support Mississippi Today, which provides accurate, dependable and critically important information to its readers while furthering the cause of government accountability – for which it won a Pulitzer Prize,” said Tom Pittman. “Mississippi Today enables Mississippians to make better decisions for themselves, their families and their communities, and its dedication to enhancing our state’s quality of life, from hospitals and universities to the arts, aligns closely with the mission of the Foundation.”
Winner of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting, the Mississippi Today newsroom has exposed corruption, provided critical information in times of crisis and broken down complicated issues such as health care and criminal justice so that everyday people, not just political wonks, can understand how policy impacts the lives of everyday Mississippians. Founded in 2016 as the state’s flagship nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom, Mississippi Today’s roots in Capitol coverage have grown to encompass a myriad of beats beyond politics and policy, including education, public health, justice, environment and equity.
“The Pittman Family Foundation has been a cornerstone of Mississippi Today’s success,” said Mary Margaret White, Mississippi Today CEO and Executive Director. “Their sustaining support of our newsroom has been critical to our ability to grow our coverage and our newsroom. We are grateful for their belief in our mission, and their steadfast dedication to journalism and democracy.”
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