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#LeaveTheLedger: How did we get to this point?

The Clarion Ledger has dropped the ball more times than Mississippi State fans can count, and now it is time for us to do something about it.

As the confetti fell down in Omaha, Nebraska, newspapers across the State of Mississippi rushed to create the perfect cover for their newspaper. undoubtedly, it was going to be a huge sales day for any paper that gave a nod to the Diamond Dawg’s first national title. In an ever-changing world full of digitalization, it was a rare moment for many printing presses. Everyone wanted their piece of history and newspapers were set to be sold by the thousands. It was a rare moment in time that no newspaper would have wanted to drop the ball on. Yes, even the Clarion Ledger made plans to add a special section in their Sunday paper:

After years of bias, slip-ups, and misprints, you thought that maybe the Ledger could some how get this right. The expectations were low, and, sure enough, it was “inadvertently” left out of Sunday’s paper. Here is a statement from Executive Editor Marlon Walker:

For some, this may seem like a forgivable mistake. Let us illustrate how we know better to think that. Here is a timeline of events in what has been a rocky history with the state’s largest newspaper:

May 22, 2016:

Mississippi State baseball won the Southeastern Conference regular-season title for the first time in since 1989. It was an incredible moment for fans to celebrate what was the beginning of a golden era of baseball in Starkville. Maybe one of the easiest headlines to write in all of sport is championship winning headlines. You simply could not mess this up... or could you? The Clarion Ledger did not feel as Mississippi State should be taking any credit for that success but that they should instead thank their rival. Yes, that really happened:

August 15, 2016

After Mississippi State fans let them have it months earlier, surely the Ledger could not mess anything major up so soon. Dak Prescott, freshly drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, was making his NFL debut, and, naturally, Mississippi State fans wanted to have a keepsake of such a huge moment. Unfortunately, they would not be able to have one. This is due to the fact that there is no mention in it anywhere in that week’s paper. One of the SEC’s and Mississippi’s most accomplished players just started for one of the most popular NFL teams in the country and there is not a single word about it. Seems legit.

December 26, 2016

It is not often that a news source goes all in on a team, because, well, that is not what they are paid to do. You report facts and leave the opinions to blogs (like us). The Ledger decided that they would rewrite the rules after our game against Miami (OH) back in 2016. Here is what they had to say in their article following the game:

Yes, this was actually printed, but, hey, maybe 2016 was just a rough year. Things got better after that? Let’s flash forward a couple of years and many mistakes later.

February 17, 2019:

With Dudy Noble Field nearly ready to reopen after renovations, there was still one final touch that the university wanted to add. Two statues were set to be unveiled outside of the stadium of Rafael Palmeiro and Will Clark. How could you possibly mess this headline up, right? Easy. Just say they played for the rival school:

Then, you look at their coverage of the entire College World Series. Let’s touch on the highlights:

June 14, 2021:

The Dawgs had just punched their ticket to Omaha for their third consecutive year. It was a rare, outstanding achievement that major networks raved about. This only deserved a third of a page in the Clarion Ledger:

June 26, 2021:

Maybe an all-time desperate heave for clickbait, led to an all-time ratio on the tweet. We drew attention to it, and begged fans to not click on the article. The Clarion Ledger responded with this tweet, further digging a hole for themselves:

Mississippi State fans were in shock, as they should be, but the mayhem did not stop there. Nick Suss, the Ole Miss beat writer, wrote this article before Game 1 of the College World Series finals:

This one, while hardly the fault of the Ole Miss beat writer covering Mississippi State’s run in Omaha, it is still inexcusable. The headline after the game read even better though:

Then, we had our section left out of the paper completely. This is my long way of saying that this is no accident.

We have seen new management come in, and many writers have come and gone, but the results remain the same. They clearly couldn’t care less about our university, our teams, or our fan base. We spoke to a former employee of Gannett, who went as far to say “all they care about is numbers.”

They decided recently, especially, that giving us the shaft was well more important than having equal, fair news. In return, we should grant them that wish. In simpler terms, we have started #LeaveTheLedger. We have to stop retweeting, commenting and letting all hell break loose. The issue here is, that is how they make their money. Advertisers pay based on site views and link clicks. One could say that maybe they even do it on purpose to generate such clicks. Why should we help them with this?

As someone who worked for a newspaper, I know how incredibly hard some of these people work. If/when, the Clarion Ledger begins to present honest and fair coverage, I encourage you all to return. That moment, though, does not look to be in the near future. We should not tolerate this any more, which has lead us to this article and this moment:

In the near 26 hours since our tweet, the Clarion Ledger has lost 1,466 followers. How many more will they lose before they realize that Mississippi State matters as well?