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Mississippi church member’s pursuit of justice earns top reporting award

JACKSON, MS — Jerry Mitchell, an investigative reporter for the The Clarion-Ledger and a member of the Skyway Hills church, Pearl, received the $25,000 John Chancellor Award at a black-tie dinner Nov. 29.
The award, administered by the Columbia University School of Journalism, recognizes and rewards a journalist whose reporting over time shows courage, integrity, curiosity and intelligence, and epitomizes the role of journalism in a free society.
For more than 15years, the Harding University journalismgraduate has unearthed documents, cajoled suspects and witnesses, and pursuedthe evidence in unsolved murders of civil rights activists.

“Mitchell pursuedthese stories after most people believed they belonged to history, and not tojournalism,” said David Halberstam, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author on theselection panel. “But they did belong to journalism, because the truth hadnever been told and justice had never been done.”
At Skyway Hills,Mitchell regularly leads prayers and presides over the Lord’s Supper. MinisterYale Canfield, said he consider Mitchell one of his closest “spiritualfriends.”
“God hooks us up withcertain people and Jerry teaches me because he’s daily in the word,” Canfieldsaid.

Mitchelland his wife, Karen, have a daughter, Katherine, 20, a Harding student, and ason, Sam, 15.

Filed under: People Staff Reports

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