The Clarion-Ledger’s mission is to serve Mississippians in the Jackson metro area and beyond by providing news that informs, educates and entertains through daily and nondaily print and digital publications. Mississippi's largest newspaper, The Clarion-Ledger is part of the USA Today Network.
In this age of dwindling paper media, the Clarion-Ledger continues to research and uncover important stories which have resulted in reform: prison corruption, lead in public water systems, campaign finance misuse, inaccessibility to public records, etc. Without their willingness to differ, we would not know what is going on behind the scenes.
But, furthermore, they have engendered reform.
Credit to: Jeanne Hays
CL Investigative Reporter Jerry Mitchell has been called "a loose cannon," "a pain in the ass" and a “white traitor." Whatever he’s been called, Jerry Mitchell has never given up in his quest to bring unpunished killers to justice, prompting one colleague to call him “the South’s Simon Wiesenthal.”
Since 1989, the investigative reporter for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., has unearthed documents, cajoled suspects and witnesses, and quietly pursued evidence in the nation’s notorious killings from the civil rights era.
His work has helped put four Klansmen behind bars: Byron De La Beckwith for the 1963 assassination of NAACP leader Medgar Evers; Imperial Wizard Sam Bowers, for ordering the fatal firebombing of NAACP leader Vernon Dahmer in 1966; Bobby Cherry, for the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church that killed four girls; and Edgar Ray Killen, for helping organize the June 21, 1964, killings of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Schwerner (popularized by the fictional movie about that case, Mississippi Burning).
Mitchell is currently writing a memoir about his pursuit of civil rights cold cases, Race Against Time, for Simon and Schuster.
Mitchell’s work has led to the arrest of Mississippi native Felix Vail, who is expected to go on trial in 2015. It will be the oldest prosecution of a serial killer suspect in U.S. history. His latest work has exposed allegations of corruption, horrific conditions and guards aiding gang killings inside Mississippi’s prisons, which has begun to lead to reforms.
For his work, Mitchell has received more than 30 national awards. In 2006, the Pulitzer Board named him a Pulitzer Prize finalist, praising him “for his relentless and masterly stories on the successful prosecution of a man accused of orchestrating the killing of three civil rights workers in 1964.” After winning the prestigious George Polk Award for a second time, Mitchell received a MacArthur “genius” grant — only the second investigative reporter to ever receive the $500,000 award.
Read the entries on Mitchell's blog, Journey to Justice, here.
Jerry Mitchell - whose journalistic work deals heavily with Civil Rights abuses of the past and present - poses here with Anthony Quin and Civil Rights activist photographer Matt Herron. Quin,at the age of five, was captured in the photograph behind Herron's head as a Jackson policeman wrenches an American flag from his grasp. This photograph won a World Press Photo prize and was included in a 2014 exhibition here at the Museum commemorating Freedom Summer 1964.
Sherry Lucas is the food and culture reporter for The Clarion-Ledger and clarionledger.com, where she follows culinary trends and great eats and drinks for the Taste section, gathers arts and entertainment highlights for the Weekend section and pegs interesting people, places and happenings for feature coverage.
Having covered cultural events and human interest stories in the state for decades, Lucas helps bring light to important cultural stories in Mississippi.
Sherry is a lifelong Mississippian, and has been a Jackson resident since joining the Jackson Daily News staff in 1983. She's been a feature reporter in the capital city since, joining The Clarion-Ledger team when the newspapers merged in 1989. Outside of the office, her passions include cooking, reading, art shows and planting, tending and harvesting a burgeoning south Mississippi fruit orchard.
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