Jackson Free Press co-founder and editor Donna Ladd was one of "six exceptional individuals" who received a Fannie Lou Hamer Humanitarian Award on Friday. The awards, given out by Jackson State University's Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy, go to people who "have been instrumental in modeling a civil society" in Mississippi.

Continue ReadingJackson Free Press Editor Donna Ladd Receives Fannie Lou Hamer Award

The Society of Professional Journalists has named the finalists for the 60th annual Green Eyeshade Awards, a regional competition open to news organization in 11 southeastern states. Miami New Times has six finalists in six categories and the Memphis Flyer has six finalists in five categories, while the Jackson Free Press is a finalist in four categories and New Times Broward-Palm Beach is competing in three. Winners will be announced at a banquet this summer.

Continue ReadingFour AAN Members are Finalists in SPJ Green Eyeshade Awards

A few years ago, threatened by media giant Gannett's attempt to control local print distribution via The Distribution Network (TDN), the Jackson Free Press and other local publishers banded together to form the Mississippi Independent Publishers' Alliance (MIPA). MIPA then began a process of buying, placing and managing its own system of multi-publication news boxes around the city. Now it looks like MIPA's efforts paid off. JFP publisher Todd Stauffer tells AAN News that the Gannett-owned Jackson Clarion-Ledger has quietly picked up all their TDN boxes and apparently closed out their program. "I'm not sure if this is a trend company-wide for Gannett, but it looks like the 'control-free-distribution' chapter is no longer in the Gannett playbook for Jackson," he says.

Continue ReadingGannett Quietly Closes Distribution Network in Jackson

Last week, Jackson Free Press became one of the 22 AAN papers that have published a version of Stacy Mitchell's story on "local washing," the phenomenon in which large, national corporations don the figurative garb of natives in order to co-opt the "buy local" movement. JFP editor Donna Ladd wrote a column in the same issue placing Gannett's ShopLocal(TM) squarely in the local-washing camp. Yesterday, Patrick Flanagan, the senior director of product management for ShopLocal(TM), answered JFP in a blog post purporting to "clear up the confusion around the meaning of 'local'", which he defines in a way that manages to include every bricks-and-mortar business in America, including CVS and Wal-Mart. So, according to Flanagan (whose post also caused collateral damage to the term "hyperlocal"), all shopping is local as long as it's done in a physical store.

Continue ReadingGannett Redefines the Meaning of a ‘Local’ Business