JFP Origin and History Quiz | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

JFP Origin and History Quiz

Photo by Amber Helsel

Photo by Amber Helsel

The first person who emails all the correct answers to donna@jacksonfreepress.com gets $50 in local gift cards.

Life and soon-to-be business partners Donna Ladd and Todd Stauffer decided after (major national event) to put down roots in Mississippi, scale back on national work and start the Jackson Free Press as a locally owned newspaper that covers the entire community.

The pair joined forces with 
University of Southern Mississippi grad _ whom they met when he showed them his duplex rental in _ (neighborhood) and later got so excited about the project that he agreed to sell __ (what?), enabling the project to move ahead. Now he's a _ guru.

The JFP has been in four "offices" over the last 17 years. List them:

a. (hint: you could smell Mexican food)

b. (hint: across the street from a famous racist)

c. (we had to go outside to go to the bathroom)

d. (our views are better than your views)

Our first art director worked from home and would nap on the floor in the middle of the night waiting for Donna, then the sole editor, to send him copy to lay out. Who was he, and where does he still work full-time? __


Former Mayor Frank Melton and his dog, Abby Photo by Kate Medley

What was the nickname of our long-time mystery sports writer (before Bryan Flynn)? __

The Jackson Free Press' investigative work put this boisterous elected official and media darling (until we came along) __ (name) on trial how many times?

Circle one: 1 2 3

Donna Ladd went on two infamous tours with that official on the and hid behind a __ when he and his two __ drew their weapons on a young man. His dog's name was .

What domestic chore did former 
police chief __ perform at a bizarre dinner at that 
official's home the night of the first joy ride? _

What future DA was also present at the 

What former Klansman did JFP work help get convicted in Jackson? _

Who did he help kidnap and kill? __ Year? __

What political candidate was on the cover of the issue the early team was trying to get to the printer one morning after daylight when suddenly the power was cut off? __

Who was the artist who painted her? _

How many awards has the JFP won total in 17 years? _

What is the JFP's most viral story ever? What is No. 2? __

Which is NOT a focus of JFP coverage? 

Criminal Justice

Public Education

Horse-race Election Coverage?

City and State Infrastructure


Local Businesses

Solutions Journalism

Watch for the answers in the Oct. 2 issue.

JFP Staff Little-Known Facts

Instructions: Match the secret to the staff member.


  1. Graduated from the International Baccalaureate program at Jim Hill High School.
  2. Owns more than 3,000 comic books.
  3. Worked as assistant curator for a CEO's private art collection, which consisted of antiquarian maps and samurai armor. Expanded the collection to include modern and contemporary map-
based works.
  4. Was once a celebrity blogger.
  5. Collects swords.
  6. Was co-host of the Emmy-winning TV show "Disk Doctors."
  7. Was vice president of the Anime Club at USM.
  8. Has aphantasia, a condition where person is unable to visualize mental images.
  9. Bartended for the woman who started Coyote Ugly in NYC and, yes, this person did shots dancing on the bar.
  10. Has a YouTube channel called Rapchive that focuses on hip-hop album discussions.
  11. Was rushed to the hospital at age 6 due to fever. The doctor told this person's parents that all of this person's permanent teeth were coming in at the same time.
  12. Has two lovable pit-bulls named Dorothy and Dru.
  13. Richard Wright (great Mississippi author) was this person's cousin. He and this person's mom were first cousins; their fathers were brothers.
  14. Is a graduate of Mississippi Coding Academy as part of the Jackson class of 2018-2019.

Staff Members:

Amber Helsel

Kristin Brenemen

Andrea Dilworth

Nate Schumann

Ashton Pittman

Robin Johnson

Azia Wiggins

Ryan Jones

Donna Ladd

Seyma Bayram

Dustin Cardon

Todd Stauffer

Kimberly Griffin

Zilpha Young

The JFP's 'Why' Statements

At the JFP's annual retreat (the next one is coming soon after a year off due to our editor's illness), we like to "start with why," the name of a book and TEDTalk by Simon Sinek. Here are past "why" statements from our co-founders and several that staff teams brainstormed. They all still hold true for us.

Donna: To leverage the power of storytelling, fact-finding and diversity to empower and inspire Mississippians to change their world.

Todd: To encourage the people in this authentic and diverse place to shun cookie-cutter culture while embracing the creative people who want to make a difference in art, culture or business.

Staff team 1: Supporting the community through authentic storytelling.

Staff team 2: Nurturing growth and encouraging dialogue between diverse communities.

Staff team 3: Creating a Sense of 'We're all in this together.'

Staff team 4: Putting a dent in the metro Jackson area and our world, and inspiring people to do the same.

Overheard in the JFP Newsroom

by JFP Staff

If you're a journalist, chances are, you've heard of "Overheard in the Newsroom." It's a fun social-media platform filled with relatable content for editors, reporters and everyone in between. Here are some of the stuff we've overheard in our office.

"The longer you're here, the bigger your headphones."

“There are no angels.” — Editor-in-chief Donna Ladd routinely reminding reporters that all sides in a story can be dishonest or corrupt and that not all stories have heroes.

New reporter when learning that elected officials might vote to illegally destroy documents: "Would they do that!?"

Web editor Dustin Cardon, laughing: "You haven't been here long, have you?"

Thanks to all our new JFP VIPs!

COVID-19 has closed down the main sources of the JFP's revenue -- concerts, festivals, fundraisers, restaurants and bars. If everyone reading this article gives $5 or more, we should be able to continue publishing through the crisis. Please pay what you can to keep us reporting and publishing.


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