Reporter receives $500k prize for investigating decades old hate crimes
I just saw this guy on Colbert and probably like the rest of the audience I was humbled by his actions. With all the talk about the loss of reporting, journalism and newspapers (Which I’ve written about before), Jerry Mitchell is the type of investigative journalist we really can’t afford to be without.
Watch the videos for the story of how Mitchell, after becoming inspired by the movie Mississippi Burning (1989) cracked open a long dormant murder case. In 1964 three young civil rights activists were brutally murdered by the Ku Klux Klan and the crime was never solved. But through Mitchell’s tenacity 25 years later, the perpetrators were eventually convicted and sent to jail.
Mitchell’s winning of the $500,000 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship won’t save the jobs of thousands of newspaper reporters, but it will at least draw attention to why, even as we embrace new media, we need to find a way to fund and support serious reporting. It’s simply in society’s interest to.