Stennis-Capitol Press Forum

Stennis-Capitol Press Forum

A long-running cooperative effort of the John C Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University and the Capitol press corps has helped promote greater transparency of state government.

About the Program

The Stennis Institute of Government and Capitol Press have teamed up to hold regular forums where political leaders come to discuss the issues facing the state.

Political leaders ranging from governors to U.S. senators to university leaders and a host of other elective officials and key governmental officials have spoken at the forums.

The forums have been the site on occasion where governors and legislative leaders have unveiled key policy positions and where during election season opposing candidates have appeared jointly to debate issues.

The forums strive to be non-partisan.

Current Location

The forums currently are held at Hal and Mal's in Jackson. Frank Riley of the Stennis Institute of Government oversees the events with assistance from Emily Wagster Pettus of the Associated Press and Bobby Harrison of Mississippi Today.

Program History

The forums began in the 1990s as an event solely for journalists to hear from and discuss issues with the state’s political leaders. But the format has morphed through the years and are now basically open to the public. Various people interested in state government attend the forums. Various restaurants and even offices around Jackson have been the site for the forums through the years, including at one point at the Mississippi Press Association headquarters.

Upcoming Stennis-Capitol Press Forum Dates

Secretary of State Candidate Forum

12:00 p.m.

Join us at Hal and Mal's for a Secretary of State candidate forum featuring incumbent Michael Watson and Mr. Ty Pinkins. 


Frank Riley
Stennis Institute
(662) 325-3328