Birmingham News Refuses to Run Faith Matters Column

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This just in from the Rev. Jack Zylman

To Tom Scarritt, Bob Blalock, et al, at the Birmingham News:

I have received an email from Rev. James Evans, telling me and others of your refusal to carry his column, “Faith Matters,” on a regular weekly basis. This column has been a breath of fresh air to those of us who do not drink at the fountain of fundamentalism and ignorance.

I want you to know that this refusal to carry a popular column is offensive to your readers. Many of us (apparently you refused to count us) requested this act of good and responsive journalism, so you are refusing us as well as Rev. Evans. Is that any way to treat your readers?

Now that you have a monopoly on the mass print media in Birmingham, you have a responsibility to respond to the needs of your readers. Yet you refuse to do so.

This accompanies your insistence in promoting the cartoons of the right-wing extremist Scott Stantis and at the same time refusing to carry The Boondocks, the most relevant cartoon in America for Black Americans struggling with present-day racism.

Doonesbury is a fine cartoon, but it is hardly responsive to the African-American population of America. Do I have to remind you that Birmingham has a majority of African-Americans, and Alabama is nearly 30% African-American?

If the News continues to shut off intelligent, progressive, ethnically complex journalism, we may have to seek other ways of getting the news. That would undoubtedly disturb your advertisers, if not your consciences.

I hope you will change your mind and soften your heart and carry “Faith Matters” on a regular weekly basis.

“I hardly know how to express gratitude for the response that was made to my request for help. Bob Blalock said he stopped counting when e-mail messages surpassed 100.

The bottom line, unfortunately, is that the B’ham News will not carry my column on a weekly basis. They are, however, inviting me to write “frequently” for the Sunday Commentary page. I intend to do that as often as I can.

Thanks again to you and to everyone who expressed such support and encouragement. I really appreciate it.

Jim Evans

© 2005, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

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