So proud I could burst: the unbridled joy of seeing our wildest dreams come true

When I started MLK50 almost five years ago, I had big dreams. But even my over-ambitious brain didn’t imagine that in less than a year a junior journalist would produce impressive work that would win a national journalism award.

But that’s exactly what Carrington J. Tatum did to the beat of environmental justice – and this work has been recognized by the Institute for Non-Profit News this week with “Breaking down barriers” price for coverage of how a community fought the controversial Byhalia pipeline project, which the developers scrapped in July.

Here’s how the judges summed up the entry: “At its best, nonprofit news stands up for its community, fighting against abuse of power. MLK50 has answered that highest calling in a big way – and has the impact to show it. “

Behind every good journalist hides a tireless, patient, and committed editor – and Carrington’s editor-in-chief on this work was Peggy McKenzie, editor-in-chief of MLK50. When city council and county commission meetings dragged on, when rallies started late and went even later, when sources were reluctant, when stories got complicated, Peggy was there, dragging Carrington along the way.

Please join me in congratulating them both. Read the Carrington cover here.

We ask you when you don’t get it: Next week the new Memphis Police Department chief Cerelyn ‘CJ’ Davis will hold a media availability. News organizations have been invited to submit two questions, and while we are certainly able to come up with our own questions, there is a better way: ask readers what they want to know. When journalists enter (virtual) rooms with policy makers where the public is not invited, it is our duty to act in the best interest of the public.

Among the suggestions from readers:
What do you want to be true about Memphis citizens and police relations?
If your job is to protect and serve in a city with a history of racial oppression, what is your role in protecting and serving the historically disadvantaged?
Why does the only answer to crime seem to be “more officers on the street”?

Stay tuned to see if our questions make the CDM cut.

About Dawn Valle

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