The Hattiesburg American is a U.S. newspaper based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, that serves readers in Forrest, Lamar, and surrounding counties in south-central Mississippi. The newspaper is owned by Gannett Company, Inc.
The Hattiesburg American was founded in 1897 as a weekly newspaper, the Hattiesburg Progress. In 1907, the Hattiesburg Progress was acquired by The Hattiesburg Daily News. When the U.S. entered World War I in 1917, the newspaper was renamed the Hattiesburg American.
The Hattiesburg American was purchased by the Harmon family in the 1920s and was sold to the Hederman family in 1960. Gannett Company acquired the newspaper in 1982.
In the early 1960s, the Hattiesburg American spoke out against the development of the Republican Party in Mississippi. The publication echoed the state Democratic contention that the primary beneficiaries of a two-party system would be "the 920,000 Negroes who dwell here." The American denounced Republican leaders Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona and Nelson A. Rockefeller of New York, rivals for the party's 1964 presidential nomination, for their common membership in the National Urban League and the NAACP. The American also criticized then freshman U.S. Representative Robert Taft, Jr., son of the late U.S. Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, for having remarked that "no segregationist belongs on a Republican ticket or even in the party."
In 2005, the Hattiesburg American received Gannett's 10th Freedom of Information Award for outstanding work on behalf of the First Amendment. In settlement documents filed in federal court in Jackson, Mississippi, the U.S. government conceded that the U.S. Marshals Service violated federal law when a marshal ordered reporters with the Associated Press and the Hattiesburg American to erase their recordings of a 2004 speech by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at a high school in Hattiesburg.
In 2009, publication of the Hattiesburg American was moved to Gannett's Clarion-Ledger facility in Jackson, Mississippi. In 2010, Gannett announced its intention to sell the 38,000 square foot (3,500 square meter) building which housed the Hattiesburg American operations at 825 North Main Street, and an agreement was reached with a Hattiesburg Commercial Realtor to sell the building. In June 2014, the Hattiesburg American staff announced they would vacate the Main Street location and move their offices to 4200 Mamie Street in midtown Hattiesburg.