Never in the history of journalism, as we know it in the State of Mississippi, has any newspaper from its inception had such bold aims and purity of purpose as the MISSISSIPPI FREE PRESS.
This is a Mississippi paper and a free paper. ...
This newspaper holds certain beliefs that are characteristic of free Americans. We believe that all men should be free—no man a slave. We believe in freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom of movement, and freedom from intimidation. These, among others, are the rights of all Mississippians, regardless of creed, color or religion. The MISSISSIPPI FREE PRESS dedicates itself to helping to maintain these freedoms. But even more important, the MISSISSIPPI FREE PRESS makes a pledge of helping to secure these rights for those Mississippians who have been denied them.
This newspaper will at all times champion the cause of justice. It will fight injustice. It will take no backward steps.
Much will be written in the future in the MISSISSIPPI FREE PRESS about the problems of this State—and we have many. We will not hesitate in offering constructive criticism. We very definitely will have our say about our state's fiscal policies, about our schools, about teachers' salaries, about reapportionment, about voting and registration, and about desegregation.
We urge all our leaders to take an active part in bringing about the redeemed community, a community in which men might live together in peace and harmony. This might be done by each citizen of Mississippi:
1. Putting forth an extra effort to respect the person and property of others.
2. Constantly reminding ourselves that we are only free to do those things which do not abridge the freedom of others.
3. Realizing that no matter how disrespectful an individual might become, this person is sacred because he is a creation of God and must be treated as such.
4. Using his influence to bring others in to the struggle for human dignity.
In order that we might better serve and meet the needs of all the people of Mississippi, we encourage you to write letters of constructive criticism to the editor and to present plans by which we can work together to improve any given problem within our state.
This editorial appeared on page of the first issue of the Mississippi Free Press on Dec. 16, 1961. The MFP was based in Jackson and produced and printed by a multi-racial group of Mississippians. The Jackson Free Press, which launched Sept. 22, 2002, is named for the Mississippi Free Press, which ceased publication in 1973.