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Mississippi Today named a 2024 Goldsmith Prize finalist

Mississippi Today’s “Unfettered Power: Mississippi Sheriffs” investigation has been selected as one of six finalists for the coveted 2024 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.

The 2023 investigation from the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting at Mississippi Today and The New York Times revealed how Mississippi sheriffs rule like kings, wielding vast power, exploiting and abusing the very people they are called to protect with no one stopping them.

The series included new details about the Rankin County “Goon Squad.”

Mississippi Today’s Jerry Mitchell and investigative fellows Ilyssa Daly, Brian Howey and Nate Rosenfield were on the team of journalists who reported the “Unfettered Power” series. It was selected as one of six finalists out of nearly 170 submissions for the annual prize housed at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center.

“This year’s finalists went to extraordinary lengths to uncover the truth – mixing classic shoe-leather journalism with the kind of shrewd and scrappy reporting that inspires new generations to enter the field and seasoned reporters to stick with it,” said Nancy Gibbs, director of the Shorenstein Center. “In a time of great uncertainty, these finalists remind us of journalism’s vital role in our democracy.”

Mississippi Today journalists previously won the 2023 Goldsmith Prize for “The Backchannel” investigation of the state’s welfare scandal and the 2020 Goldsmith Prize for an investigation with The Marshall Project of the state’s restitution centers.

Also this year, Mississippi Today’s “Committed to Jail” in collaboration ProPublica had previously been announced as one of 30 semifinalists for the Goldsmith Prize.

“Strong investigative reporting at the local level is not happening nearly enough, and we take seriously our responsibility to help fill that void in Mississippi,” said Adam Ganucheau, editor-in-chief at Mississippi Today. “We’re proud to be recognized among the very best in the nation, but truly, the impact that these projects and others from our newsroom have had on our home state is what matters most to us.”

Other finalists for the 2024 Goldsmith Prize are The New York Times, STAT, ProPublica, Streetsblog and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The winner will be announced at an April 3 awards ceremony.

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