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Outside the Room Where The Game Happens

The musical “Hamilton” has a song called “The Room Where It Happened.” It details the deal between James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton to move the U.S. Capitol from New York to (what eventually became) Washington, D.C., in exchange for implementing Hamilton’s economic plan. In the musical, and I’m assuming real life, Jefferson hated Hamilton’s proposed financial structure for the new country. Still, he was willing to go along with it to get the seat of power closer to Virginia, Jefferson’s literal seat of power and the home of his Monticello plantation. 

One of my favorite sets of lyrics is:

No one else was in the room where it happened

The room where it happened

The room where it happened

No one really knows how the game is played

The art of the trade

How the sausage gets made

We just assume that it happens

But no one else is in the room where it happens.

The Mississippi Free Press is women-founded and -run, and we hardly ever know how the sausage gets made in the room where “the game” happens, though we’ve got some ideas. As you’ve heard me repeat time and time again, and again Friday night when my team won a big national journalism award for our groundbreaking BWC Project, our newsroom looks like Mississippi with Black folks and Brown folks, gay folks, Spanish-speaking folks, rural folks, city folks, Indigenous folks, to name a few of the communities my colleagues represent. Not to mention, almost everyone one of us grew up here.

MFP Publisher and Chief Revenue Officer Kimberly Griffin accepts the national Community Engagement Award at the Lion Publishers Conference 2022.

We don’t represent every community in Mississippi, but we darn well try daily and will continue to get better at it. That’s frightening for people in power because our existence challenges the media and leadership status quo, how news is done and what communities are served. Our solutions-focused journalism empowers Mississippians to ask important questions of power brokers because we give them information, causes,

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