Journalism’s Moment in Tuscaloosa

If you live outside of the state of Alabama, you may not have heard about this week’s Tuscaloosa City Board of Education election — yet. I feel pretty confident that this is going to get some national attention.

There are accusations of voter fraud, an email that suggests a University of Alabama sorority offered free drinks in exchange for votes, and there’s a strong possibility that one of the candidates who lost is considering challenging the results. Her husband, a University of Alabama School of Law professor, has even suggested that the university might be turning a blind eye to all of this.

It’s an excellent opportunity for some serious journalism in Tuscaloosa.

Full disclosure: I’m an Alabama grad and worked as a student and professional journalist in Tuscaloosa for about 15 years.

Journalism organizations have a duty — one that I consider to be practically sacred — to report on important community issues without fear or favor. That means journalists aren’t supposed to fear pressure or reprisals, and journalists aren’t supposed to play favorites or protect powerful interests.

In this case, one of those powerful interests might be the University of Alabama.

I’ll be watching how Tuscaloosa’s professional and student news media outlets — newspaper, radio, television and online — cover this unfolding story.

It’s an important moment for journalism in T-town.

Comments
7 Responses to “Journalism’s Moment in Tuscaloosa”
  1. Nathan says:

    I’m interested to see what comes out of this (if anything) also.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Is the “Machine” at it again?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yes, this is the “Machine.” I worked at the polling station for nearly 5 hours and the violations were egregious. Have never seen anything so blatant, and I’m an historian of Modern Mexico by trade. What does that tell you? Butler, thank you for covering this. You’ll have plenty more material. The faculty and many of the community are up in arms. It appears you can push a horde of mild-mannered Ph.D.s too far.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for amplifying the signal

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  1. […] to fail you and shows no sign of changing course. Even an appeal from someone as respected as Butler Cain, who incidentally was manager at the local NPR station when I interned there, won’t be enough […]



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