Investigative Reporter Jerry Mitchell Masterclass & Reading

Lectures & Discussions

Narrative Journalism at Denison will host a three-part masterclass on Cold Cases & Investigative Storytelling. The first two sessions will be led by Mellon Fellow Maggie Messitt, and the third session will be led by visiting investigative journalist and author Jerry Mitchell. This masterclass will meet on campus on March 10, 12, and 31.

In addition, Mitchell will present a reading from his newly-released memoir “Race Against Time” on March 31 at 8:00 PM in Barney-Davis Boardroom. The public is welcome to attend this free event. No registration is necessary.

In more than three decades as a reporter at the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, Jerry Mitchell’s stories helped put four Ku Klux Klan members and a suspected serial killer behind bars decades after they committed their crimes. His reporting has exposed killers who had long escaped prosecution, with authorities citing insufficient evidence, in cases including the killings of civil rights activists in the 1960s and the longest-delayed conviction in a serial killer case in U.S. history. His stories have also exposed corruption in state agencies and helped lead to the release of two prisoners from death row. In 2018, after 32 years at the Clarion-Ledger, Mitchell co-founded the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting, where he now serves as director. His memoir Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era will be released on February 4th, 2020.

An independent narrative and immersion journalist, Denison’s Mellon Fellow Maggie Messitt has spent fifteen years reporting from inside underserved communities in southern Africa and the American Midwest. Her first book, The Rainy Season, was long-listed for the 2016 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award in South Africa, where she was a journalist, editor, and the founding director of a writing school for 8 years. She has edited the work of writers ranging from students to Pulitzer and Orange Prize winners, and managed editorial projects for the BBC, POV Documentary Films, Wisconsin Public Television, and others. While most of her reportage and essays have focused on rural regions, environmental sustainability, and issues of inequity and justice, she has spent more than six years now investigating and writing about her aunt’s 2009 disappearance on the island of Maui and the missing persons crisis in America.

These events are funded in part by the Andrew W. Mellon “Writing in Place” initiative and a gift by alumna Sue O’Donnell.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jerry Mitchell’s session was cancelled.

Posted Date 
Wednesday, March 4, 2020

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