Fondren Guitars hosted Local Live(s) + Mississippi Today for a live journalism, storytelling and music event Wednesday. Mississippi Today journalists and other community members came together to share real and powerful stories from their lives and careers.
Reporters pulled back the curtain on their experiences covering difficult narratives, and our community members captured the crowd with their talents and stories. Centered around the theme of Power: Stories of Strength, Imbalance and Untapped Potential, the unvarnished and true stories shared throughout the night reminded the audience how storytelling and journalism can empower those in hard situations and give a voice to those feeling helpless.
If you missed it — or want to take a look back — view photos by Mississippi Today photojournalist Eric J. Shelton, and read our recap by audience journalist Nigel Dent, who kept up with every minute of the event on the Mississippi Today Twitter account:
Meet our guests!
Tonight’s the night — In just a bit, our journalists will pull the curtain back on their important work to let the public in on the behind-the-scenes of reporting that they’ve thus far only witnessed from the outside. Let’s meet our guests for the evening! #LocalLivesMT pic.twitter.com/FVX4t6mcY7— Mississippi Today (@MSTODAYnews) February 9, 2022
He’s funny in real life! The emcee for tonight is none other than comedian and writer @MercBWilliams, who’ll be providing more than enough energy and laughter to last us the evening. #LocalLivesMT pic.twitter.com/o5wacE4SS6— Mississippi Today (@MSTODAYnews) February 9, 2022
“Mississippi Today provides me an opportunity to take her people with me as I document their lives and stories through my lens.” #LocalLivesMT— Mississippi Today (@MSTODAYnews) February 9, 2022
Vickie King is Mississippi Today’s Pulitzer-nominated photojournalist. See some of her best work!https://t.co/oH3oHIFbtW
“Exposing inequity through the stories of everyday people…can and will inspire change.” #LocalLivesMT— Mississippi Today (@MSTODAYnews) February 9, 2022
Anna Wolfe (@ayewolfe) delves into some of the biggest scandals in the state, such as the New welfare scandal. Take a look back!https://t.co/BUCJPgHh4a
“The people of Mississippi need a…reliable source of news so they can make the decisions required to take Mississippi into the future.” #LocalLivesMT— Mississippi Today (@MSTODAYnews) February 9, 2022
Cartoonist @MarshallRamsey travels the state to spark convo about news and engaging in civic life!https://t.co/WEOgwmn9S9
We’re so excited to have you all join us this evening as we tackle the theme of ‘Power: Stories of Strength, Imbalance and Untapped Potential.’ But stay tuned here even if you can’t make it; I’ll be keeping you updated to the last minute! #LocalLivesMT pic.twitter.com/7qxhITSBPu— Mississippi Today (@MSTODAYnews) February 9, 2022
Here’s a thread of highlights and best moments from the night!
We’re live! #LocalLivesMT starts now with our guests @MarshallRamsey, Vickie King, @ayewolfe, @theVitaminCea, @MercBWilliams and Benjamin Saulberry — stay tuned here for live updates! pic.twitter.com/xACpz9jpz9— Mississippi Today (@MSTODAYnews) February 10, 2022
Reminder that tonight’s theme is ‘Power: Stories of Strength, Imbalance and Untapped Potential.’ Our journalists will share stories of their reporting while Community members also share true, unvarnished stories from their lives.— Mississippi Today (@MSTODAYnews) February 10, 2022
“We have not gathered with our readers in quite some time!” — MT executive director Mary Margaret White (@dearmarymarg) shares as she rejoices over the start of tonight’s event.— Mississippi Today (@MSTODAYnews) February 10, 2022
From @ayewolfe: “You can’t go into a story thinking you’ll know how the narrative will turn out.” Investigative reporter Anna Wolfe details an untold story to illustrate the difficulty of having an important but complicated subject. #LocalLivesMT pic.twitter.com/XNyDVFpsi1— Mississippi Today (@MSTODAYnews) February 10, 2022
Closing out with a powerful tale from her career, photojournalist Vickie King talks about capturing an emotional photo of a grieving father that sparked conversation far and wide, but also received as much vitriol as it did praise. #LocalLivesMT pic.twitter.com/juMpeae5aE— Mississippi Today (@MSTODAYnews) February 10, 2022
Kudos to our guests for enriching tonight’s experience! @MarshallRamsey, Benjamin Saulberry, @theVitaminCea, @ayewolfe, Vickie King and @MercBWilliams made us laugh, cry, think deeply and groove to the beat. Powerful is an understatement. You should’ve been there! #LocalLivesMT pic.twitter.com/4UkazSgtuw— Mississippi Today (@MSTODAYnews) February 10, 2022
More About Local Live(s):
This event is part of a national series Back Pocket is co-producing with local and state news organizations across the country. Other newsrooms that are a part of the Power series are: Miami Herald, Buckeye Flame, The Forward, and a collaborative event by KHOL Jackson Hole Community Radio, WyoFile, and Jackson Hole News and Guide. Local Live(s) is sponsored by the Meta Journalism Project and is funded in part by the Brown Institute of Media Innovation.