If there’s no such thing as global warming, how do you explain this spring iris blooming in December? [Click on the image for a larger view]
The word Iris means rainbow. Iris is the flower of the Greek goddess Iris who is the messenger of Love. In the language of flowers Iris symbolizes eloquence. It blooms in the spring, not the winter, but this one popped out in Monday’s December rain.
Sorry to change the subject from all the violence, but I will not turn armed criminals into celebrities by glorifying their despicable acts.
We have other things to worry about that we may b...
January 17, 2013 -- First Snowfall of 2013 Hits Central Alabama (0) The first snowfall of 2013 hit Middle Alabamaland on Thursday, shutting down schools and causing power outages and other havoc even though the forecast only called for 1-3 inches and the winter sto...
Hello, I'm Glynn Wilson, the publisher of the Locust Fork News-Journal.
First, I'd like to thank you all for your continued support over the years as I've continued to bring you the news that the "other guys" mostly ignore. I'm constantly dismayed at the way our news media avoids certain stories that MATTER, stories that might upset the people who pay for their advertising, stories that might piss off powerful people, or stories that might offend the wrong people.
A FREE PRESS means one not constrained by the government or corporate influences. The First Amendment was not written so that big corporations could make lots of profit from sensational nonsense nationally or small time local public relations. Objectivity means a search for the truth, whether it hurts or not, not just parroting the extreme positions of the far right and left and calling it "fair and balanced." That was never what it was supposed to be about, but that's what it has become in the hands of corporate chain newspapers and corporate-owned television news outlets and their Web counterparts.
I'm as upset as many of you are watching the decline of long-standing mainstream media outlets these days. The New York Times is not what it used to be, and even NPR seems to be going down hill. Forget Fox News and talk radio. In my home state of Alabama and other states like Louisiana, Ohio and even Oregon, the Newhouse chain is trying to maintain its monopoly on the ninth-grade reading level news, entertainment and small time local sports, ignoring the big picture stories on public affairs. Who's out there actually digging up stories like the Watchdog journalists of old, looking for the real news that matters to peoples' working lives and the health of their families and the world we all live in? Even the newer major news sites are grabbing and rehashing stories from the same less experienced bloggers (which in most cases don't even get paid and have little journalism training or experience anyway). The crazy thing is, every site will take one story and rewrite what that one blogger wrote, and they all act like they've done their jobs as journalists. Give us a freaking break!
In my interesting life I've had the opportunity to handle big national stories for some of the best news organizations in U.S. journalism history, including the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor and The Nation magazine, to name a few, and I've founded several Web publications over the past 15 years. This one has survived more than eight years and was even lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review as one of the few successful independent Web publications in the country in the early days of what I call the Web Press.
I even TAUGHT Journalism and Communications for almost a decade in some of the top academic journalism programs in the South. During that time I specialized in researching media effects on public opinion, earned a Master's degree and conducted doctoral level research that taught me even more about solving social problems through effective communication. Our vision is to bring you the news that others can't because they're beholden to corporate and other powerful interests and have a narrow, cliched sense of what news is supposed to look like. Sensationalism and tripe pass for news these days, like never before, even on popular sites such as Ariana Huffington's AOL Post.
I take my job very seriously and I'm doing this for you, the American public. I work hard at what I do and I provide real news you will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
For example: I recently traveled to Washington D.C. to cover the Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference, showing how organized labor and non-profit environmental groups are coming together not only to save the world, but to put America back to work. This is one of the most important stories of our time, but was the New York Times there? NO! Where was the Huffington Post? Politico or Truthout? If you are new to this site or missed it, check out our coverage, with video. (See links below)
I could go on and on about this, telling you I'm the only columnist in the country to wonder why there was an uproar at all about the federal government investigating anti-government, anti-tax non-profit applications from little tea party groups. Why shouldn't they be investigated? Why do they deserve to accept tax deductible contributions when their mission is to bankrupt the American treasury? Should this be called treason? Did the New York Times write intelligently about this? Or just jump on the anti-Obama band wagon?
As educated and informed Web readers, however, you most likely already get it. I WAS THERE and you got the exclusive story right here.
Here's the deal though, folks. We really do need you for us to do what we do. It's not just about me and never has been. I have strategic partners who are also in dire straights financially, struggling to survive and keep doing what we love in this post-Bush Great Recession world of new media and social networking, where everybody is inundated with the same old crap that passes for news from TeeVee and talk radio and the fake Facebook news feed and Twitter. None of us are independently wealthy. We aren't the Koch brothers, or even the Newhouse brothers or the Sulzberger's. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth and I've never had a Trust Fund. But I'll be damed if I'll spend my life popping off short, snappy drivel for the wages newspapers pay these days. I'm still here fighting the good fight and asking for your help. You will benefit as well and get some REAL news in the bargain.
We don't have the big corporate ads or take money from polluting corporations like BP and Southern Company, but we have a streamlined operation that does not have to support printing presses with massive amounts of ink and paper and be delivered by gas guzzling trucks. We have some talented people around here helping to build this new fangled business model for the new millennium. They don't like working for free either. I feel if someone does some quality work, they deserve to get paid a living wage, just like the union members whose organizations already sponsor this site.
So many of the new blog Web sites don't even have a plan to pay people down the road. The Huffington Post's traffic base was built by free, liberal bloggers, many of them getting paid by think tanks or not at all, but they lost a lawsuit when they tried to get paid. We don't aggregate the same old free content you see everywhere else like sites such as the OpEd News. I once asked the owner if he planned to ever pay writers, back when they were requesting to run all my stories about former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and political prosecutions across America. He said no, so I stopped giving permission. I am a professional journalist and the first rule of professionalism is to get paid. IN fact, it takes financial resources to actually do the work. I DO the work, and want to be able to afford to pay others to help us create a better Web Press going into the future when the printing presses finally roll for the last time and grow silent.
I've been saying for years now that the traditional press is dying, and even made a speech about the state of Web publishing at Birmingham Southern College in the year 2000. I think we all know it's only a matter of time now. If you watch developments closely like I do, you can see it slipping a little more every day.
Here's what I need you to do. Look into the future, not that far out, and imagine there are no traditional newspapers publishing "both sides" of the story. Imagine if the Koch brothers buy out the Newhouse brothers and all the news is either distracting sensationalism or right-wing conservative Republican drivel. The true Journalists will be GONE because they can't compete with FREE. Who wants to develop the true skills that an award-winning journalist needs if they aren't even going to be able to eat and pay their bills?
This is actually happening NOW, PEOPLE, right before our very eyes! Can any semblence of American democracy survive it? I doubt it.
Will you be able to say you helped keep an independent Press remain alive and free in America at a critical time in history? Or, will you look back and think about the "old days" when people actually seriously practiced journalism, when the news was not just a bunch of free blog posts strung together among stories about two-headed kittens and such, the stupid video of the day, all calculated to get eyeballs looking at corporate ads?
The Locust Fork News-Journal cannot do this without your help. We need your support NOW and would appreciate and put to good use any contribution. We want to continue to provide you with more and more coverage of things that MATTER to you, like the National Forests Fracking story -- which was IGNORED by the big media, even the local NPR station in Birmingham. I suppose they didn't want to upset the big oil companies or risk their dirty sponsorship dollars. Our dilemma is, number one, we are NEVER going to sell out. The other problem is getting people to change the channel and support real journalism. We'll go down fighting all the way for you, but with your help and our experience, we can can survive and thrive.
Even if it's only $10, the price of a couple of Starbuck coffees, it could make a big difference at this critical time in the history of the Web Press. We'd really appreciate your support. Use one of the secure methods below to add your voice to the growing chorus of people who understand the need for this new kind of press in America.
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Don't like PayPal? Try WePay. Use the button on top right of our main page. Click on the links below to see samples of recent stories with video coverage.