Thinking back on the year 2020 is no easy task.
Phil Graham, the late publisher and president of the Washington Post, once described journalism as “the first rough draft of history.” No year in recent memory better encapsulates that sentiment for us at Mississippi Today.
We closely covered an international pandemic and the government’s response to it, a national reckoning on racism that inspired historic changes in our home state, and arguably the most contentious election year in American history. We uncovered the state’s modern day debtor’s prison, and we shined light on what’s billed as the largest embezzlement scheme in state history.
One of our goals this year was to tell more stories through the eyes of the Mississippians who are affected by the decisions our state’s leaders make. What we saw and heard this year was so many Mississippians suffering trauma and loss. We always take seriously the responsibility of telling those stories, and this year was no different. We also worked hard to seek out the good in Mississippians, often as our reporters faced their own losses and tragedies. We tried our best to tell all those stories respectfully.
We took a lot of time this year to reflect on who we are and who we need to be. That deliberate thinking led to us undertaking several projects and initiatives that we hope will make us better and grow our state. We launched an essay series on race, predicated on the notion that we all need to do more to honestly consider and address racism. We implemented the Community Ambassador Program, which aims to help us better understand the problems, successes and stories of Mississippians.
And through it all, we doubled down on our commitment to holding government officials accountable for their actions and inactions, and we’ve continued to focus on providing depth and context that you can’t find anywhere else.
It’s been a pleasure to serve you this year. Your commitment to engaging with your state inspires us, and we look forward to continuing to grow together in 2021.
Thank you for all your support. We are proud to report to you.
Visit the Mississippi Today 2020 Recap to take some time to look back with us on an extraordinary year of uncertainty, loss, hope and growth.