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Two important rural journalism news stories: First, W. Horace Carter (above) died. Carter, 88, was editor and publisher of The Tabor City Tribune in North Carolina. In 1950, four years after he founded the paper, Carter began a series of stories and editorials about the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in southeastern North Carolina. “The Klan, despite its Americanism plea, is the personification of Fascism and Nazism,” the World War II veteran wrote.
Carter and his family were threatened constantly over the years. “He was a God-and-country kind of guy,” said his son, Russell Carter. “But he was committed to social justice, and he was not prepared for the fact that other people didn’t see it that way.” Carter won the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 1953 for his anti-Klan articles and editorials.
Also, this week the MacArthur Foundation named Jerry Mitchell of Jackson, Mississippi, as one of its two dozen fellows. Mitchell is a reporter at the Clarion-Ledger newspaper and has been unrelenting in reporting on civil rights-era crimes. He will use his “genius grant” of $500,000 (paid over five years) to complete a book. “There are a lot of rabbit trails I want to run down,” Jerry said. We here at the Yonder couldn’t be prouder of both of these guys.