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In this episode of Mississippi Stories, Mississippi Today Editor-At-Large Marshall Ramsey sits down with Layne Bruce, Executive Director of the Mississippi Press Association. Mississippi’s small newspapers have a rich history and provide an invaluable service to the communities they serve. But like many other small newspapers across the nation, they’re facing serious headwinds.  Ramsey and Bruce talk about  how COVID-19 and other business challenges has affected the MPA’s 110 members. They talk about topics from new ways to fund local news to challenges to big tech giants who have siphoned away advertising dollars. Bruce adds his perspective developed from his 15 years at the MPA and talks about problems many local papers face (like the recent issues with the Post Office, which affects delivery of printed copies) and opportunities as well. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The only security of all is in a free press.” 

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Marshall Ramsey, a nationally recognized editorial cartoonist, shares his cartoons and travels the state as Mississippi Today’s Editor-At-Large. He’s also host of a weekly statewide radio program and a television program on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and is the author of several books. Marshall is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and a 2019 recipient of the University of Tennessee Alumni Professional Achievement Award.