Category: BirminghamWatch

BirminghamWatch Recommends

Alabama Nurses Paid 8% Less Than Nurses in Surrounding States, Shortage Continues (ABC 33/40)
New Documentary Examines Life of Alabama Native Helen Keller (Associated Press)
Alabama Finally Approaching Pre-Delta COVID Levels: Week in Review (AL.com)
Inflation in the economy today is different. Here are four charts that can explain why. (Washington Post)
Alabama Seeks to Purge Racist Sections of Constitution (Associated Press)

Sources Should Be Sources, Not Editors

I’d have posted this sooner but I was waiting on Adam Schefter to edit it.

Schefter, a National Football League “Insider” reporter for ESPN, became a target of widespread derision within the journalism community this week when the LA Times reported that Schefter sent an entire draft of a pending news story about NFL collective bargaining to a key source for review. It happened 10 years ago but is in the news now because Schefter’s action was revealed in emails that are part of current court litigation involving the key source. Read more.

AIIJ Announces Retirement of Founding Executive Director Carol Nunnelley

The Alabama Initiative for Independent Journalism has announced the retirement of Carol Nunnelley, founding executive director of the organization. Nunnelley joined Jerry Lanning and Mark Kelly to found AIIJ in 2014 and became its first executive director in 2015.

Nunnelley led AIIJ through the creation of its publishing arm, BirminghamWatch, and fostered steady growth in reporting and readership. Key projects included nonpartisan voter guides for local elections and a series on the Legacy of Race. Read more.

In a Disaster, Media Heroism (aka Craziness) Has Its Limits

When a natural disaster strikes a community, residents go to shelter. Public safety workers and journalists go to work.

News organizations usually prioritize the safety of reporters in the field during such events. Often, it’s the reporters who will push the limits on safety in order to deliver vital news to the public. Ethical managers talk them out of it.

But there’s no shortage of instances of reporters subjecting themselves to the brutality of nature to report a weather story. Their aim is to show the public the truth about the conditions. Their critics call it reckless showboating. Read more.

Pay-for-Say: Buying Interviews Is a Bad Idea

Paying for information is a much frowned-upon practice in journalism. Fortunately, it rarely happens.

Except, of course, when a media organization pays for a newsworthy photo or video.

Or for breaking news tips from sources (think TMZ paying police officers).

Or to cover a source’s pre-interview expenses.

Or for subject experts to appear regularly on shows.

Or for coaches and athletes to do weekly programs.

Or for event broadcast rights.

The latest incarnation is emerging in the world of sports, where college athletes can now make money from endorsements, appearances and interviews. Read more.

BW Recommends: Trump Rally in Alabama

WATCH: Former President Donald Trump Speaks at Alabama Rally (CBS 42)
Trump Holds Rally in Cullman (Cullman Times)
Donald Trump Booed at Alabama Rally After Encouraging Crowd to Get COVID-19 Vaccine (Newsweek)
Mo Brooks Booed After Telling Trump Rally Crowd to Move Past 2020 Election (AL.com)
Trump Holds Rally in Cullman, Alabama News Network Political Analyst Steve Flowers Weighs In (Alabama News Network)
Trump Supporters Pack Farm in Cullman for Rally (WAAY)
Trump’s Rally in Alabama Is a Boon for Mo Brooks’ Senate Campaign (CNN)

Is This Champion a Quitter? Glad to See the Media Say No

Among a cascade of memorable Olympics stories over the years, I especially remember the tale of a guy who finished last.

During the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona, Great Britain’s Derek Redmond tore a hamstring muscle in the middle of his 400-meters semifinal and collapsed. He got up and, in anguish, began limping toward the finish line. His father rushed from the stands and onto the track, grabbed him, and propped him up as he tried to complete the race. Near the end, the father let go of him, and Redmond hobbled across the line on his own to a standing ovation. Today it remains a famous moment of determination and inspiration.

But really, he probably should have stayed down and let the medics come get him.

I contrast that story with the decision of four-time gold medal winner Simone Biles to withdraw during the gymnastics team finals last week at the current Games in Tokyo. After an unexpectedly flawed rotation on the vault, Biles said stress and mental health concerns prevented her from continuing in that and other events (though she did rejoin for the balance beam competition on Tuesday). Read more.