Yellowhammer News just heard in the hallway that the Business Council of Alabama has, at least in part, funded the launch of a new political website called Alabama Daily News.
“The idea is to deliver quality news content, smart analysis, and needed commentary on Alabama politics on a daily basis,” wrote the site’s editor, Todd Stacy, in an email sent recently to political players around the state.
Stacy, a native of Prattville, was most recently the press secretary to U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery. He also served as a communication aide to former Speaker Mike Hubbard and former Gov. Bob Riley. He earned a solid reputation as a political flack and is well liked by the press corps and among political insiders.
Yellowhammer News welcomes Stacy to the profession and wishes him the very best because Alabama needs more reporting, not less.
And lately, it’s been less.
We remember a time when the state’s large newspapers, such as they were, had teams of reporters covering state politics. Not only were experienced journalists covering big issues – the governor, the legislature, the courts – but the state’s major cities, departments and agencies were thoroughly examined and reported upon, as well.
While most of those journalists were liberals whose articles required a dash of salt (or a pound), they often managed to uncover important stories the public needed to know. Yellowhammer News still fondly recalls the enormous resources that the Mobile Register devoted to uncovering the many scandals of the Siegelman Administration … coverage that helped paved the way for the greatest governor our state has ever known.
Alabama lost much of that reporting capacity in the last decade when traditional newspapers contracted and dozens of reporters lost their jobs. We like to kick the liberal media around … and they deserve it, mostly … but we conservatives should be mindful of why the Framers chose the press as the only profession they mentioned by-name in our constitution.
We may not like the press, but we need the press.
Questions about independence and standards will certainly, and understandably, come with how media companies are formed and become profitable in today’s climate, but the proof will always be in the pudding.
And Yellowhammer News looks forward to the contributions of Todd Stacy and his team.
Alabama deserves their very best.
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