Hi, I’m Ashton Pittman, a native Mississippian with a knack for writing, photography and “stirring the pot,” as the Facebook comment people like to say.
I’m a south-Mississippi based journalist and the senior reporter for the Mississippi Free Press, a woman-founded, non-profit online news publication that launched in March 2020 (yes, just as the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Mississippi) that focuses on public service and solutions journalism that informs the people and holds the powerful to account.
Before my role at the Mississippi Free Press, I was state reporter for the Jackson Free Press, were my award-winning coverage of the 2018 U.S. Senate special election in Mississippi drove national headlines as I broke the story about U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s time at a segregation academy.
My byline has appeared across a variety of national and international publications, including the New York Times, The Guardian and NBCThink, and I’ve discussed my reporting as a guest on MSNBC, NPR, BBC World Radio and more.
I studied journalism and political science at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, where I learned photojournalism and developed a love for shooting on film and working in a darkroom. While working on my journalism degree, I started a blog for a class project now known as Deep South Voice, which still covers news in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina.
I’m the proud husband of William Pittman, who shares my passions and is a constant source of encouragement (and without whom much of what you read above, degree aside, never would have happened). His talents and skills include everything from cooking to data to photography and writing. He’s written stories for Deep South Voice that have earned nationwide attention, including a retweet from celebrity comedian Chelsea Handler.
We have two pit bulls that we adore.
We adopted Dorothy, our red nose pit, from the Hub City Humane Society in February 2017. When we found her, she had recently been rescued from an abusive puppy mill, where she spent the first two years of her life. She is now a spoiled princess whose ears perk up at the mere hint of going “outside.”
When we met Dru, we knew we had no choice but to take her home with us. She immediately came over, put her front paws around Dorothy’s neck, and then walked over and sat in William’s lap. Everything makes Dru happy—especially pestering her big sister, eating, sleeping, and doing her best to sit on top of anyone who will remain still long enough.