Executive Director and Contributors

Carol Nunnelley: Nunnelley, a founder of Alabama Initiative for Independent Journalism, is executive director of the organization and its news initiative, BirminghamWatch. She is an Alabama journalist who led enterprise and investigative reporting at The Birmingham News over three decades, coverage that addressed the city and state’s intractable problems of race, poverty and inept and corrupt government.  She was managing editor of The News from 1992 through 2000.

She joined Associated Press Media Editors in 2001 to develop programs that worked with newsrooms across the country, including National Credibility Roundtables Project and NewsTrain.   In 2008, Nunnelley received APME’s top award for working for the betterment of journalism. 

Beginning as a reporter at The News in 1966, Nunnelley covered Birmingham’s evolving race relations, a subject historically neglected by the newspaper; exposed neglect and abuse in Alabama’s segregated juvenile corrections system; and uncovered misuse of federal dollars intended to alleviate poverty. As managing editor, Nunnelley oversaw  projects on failures in state child protection services and in the oversight of facilities for the elderly; investigations into the application of the death penalty in Alabama and the poor performance of state schools; and reporting on health problems of Gulf War veterans.

Nunnelley is the author of Building Trust in the News, a best-practices guidebook for editors. Since 2009, Nunnelley has written a biography for young readers of the first woman to serve on Alabama’s Supreme Court and collaborated with  H. Brandt Ayers, publisher and columnist at the Anniston Staron a collection of his writings over 50 years, published by University of Alabama Press.  

Virginia Martin: Martin is lead news editor of BirminghamWatch. She was political editor of The Birmingham News, where she directed local, state and national government coverage. She also led reporting of health and the environment at The News, where she worked from 1988 to 2012, and was an editor on coverage of Alabama’s two-year college system that won a 2007 Pulitzer Prize. Before that, Martin worked as a reporter covering law enforcement and courts at The Alabama Journal. She is a journalism graduate of Auburn University, former student at the University of Missouri and a 2001-2002 Child and Family Policy Fellow at the University of Maryland.

Glenn Stephens:   Stephens, also an editor for BirminghamWatch,  is a retired state editor for The Birmingham News, where he supervised coverage of state government and politics for more than 20 years. He previously was a reporter and editor for The Associated Press and United Press International. He is a native of Birmingham and a graduate of the University of North Alabama.

Hank Black:  Black, who focuses on coverage of the environment, is a Tuscaloosa native and a graduate of the University of Alabama. He was a writer for The Birmingham News, Tuscaloosa News, and Tuscaloosa County Graphic before embarking on a 40-year career at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he was a media and communications specialist. He is a freelance writer based in Birmingham.

Robert Carter: Carter is a veteran journalist, both with newspapers and in radio. A Kentucky native, Carter began working at his hometown Glasgow Daily Times straight out of high school, and also worked with Christian Family Radio in Bowling Green and with Western Kentucky University’s public radio service.  In Alabama, Carter worked at The Birmingham News, where he covered high school sports, and The North Jefferson News in Gardendale, where he was associate editor in charge of sports and online operations. Carter left the NJN in 2016 for what he called “retirement.” He continues to report and write about news and sports in the Birmingham area and Alabama.

Solomon Crenshaw:  Crenshaw, a Birmingham native, covers county government. He worked for nearly four decades as a reporter and writer with The Birmingham News and its successor, Alabama Media Group; became an independent journalist in 2015, and has expanded his storytelling to include photography and videography.  He has covered sports, entertainment and general features.

Tom Gordon: Gordon is a graduate of the University of Alabama and the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He has been a reporter and editor at The Birmingham News and The Anniston Star.

Sam Prickett:  Prickett is a Birmingham-based journalist who has written for publications covering the city, including Weld: Birmingham’s Newspaper, the Birmingham TimesOver the Mountain Journal and This Is Alabama. He currently covers municipal politics for BirminghamWatch.  Prickett is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College.

Other editorial contributors, 2015-2017:   Anita Debro, Stan Diel,  Gigi Douban, Trisha Powell Crain, Keysha Drexel, Rick Frennea, Nick Patterson,  Lori Chandler Pruitt, Zachary Rogers,  Paul South, Walt Stricklin, Marie Sutton,  Hanno van der Bijl,  Jackie Walburn.

Organization support:  AIIJ’s website is designed and supported by .infomedia.  The Modern Brand is marketing consultant. Relay Accounting Management provides bookkeeping and financial information services.