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Publisher’s Note | How ‘You the People’ Can Protect Democracy, Grow Essential Journalism

Two weeks ago, Ashton Pittman dropped a story about former President Donald Trump encouraging Russia to attack US allies.  A journalism professor and sometimes media pundit took issue with our strategy. He admonished us to stay in our lane and stick to our knitting (really), saying we shouldn’t bother with national news during this critical time. We beg to differ.

We live in times when a combination of partisan media, misinformation and shrinking media literacy—and the often-bizarre choices of national and corporate media—is muddying the waters across our nation and either ignoring or burying important stories like Ashton’s piece that raised the Massachusetts man’s ire.

We choose to listen to you the readers instead.

Thought, Interest and Deep Concern

Over the last few weeks, you’ve shown us how critical all of our national coverage is and that you’re grateful that our work helps fill coverage gaps across Mississippi and the U.S. You’re reading our national stories as you read our local stories, with thought, interest and deep concern for your fellow Americans.

Even if you don’t live in Mississippi or come from here, you find what we write about our state informative about your own states as well as issues that should be centered more nationally.

You tell us all this on social media, in emails to us, when we call to thank you for donations and when we see you in person at gatherings around the country. (Did you know we have donors in every state?). Let’s face it: As goes Mississippi, so goes the rest of the country. Martin Luther King Jr. told us this. Lerone Bennett told us this. And our team certainly knows it.

The first live MFP-YMP Solutions Circles occurred at New Horizon Church in Jackson on Nov. 9, 2023, with support of the American Press Institute. Photo by Imani Khayyam 

Our local work is vital to Mississippians, and it is important to the nation. Our national coverage, especially about legislation our D.C. officials spearhead like Cindy Hyde-Smith blocking IVF protection this week, is important locally. The lines of demarcation are artificial and limit the

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