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The Power of a Raw Story

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Message Roger Shuler
Sunday, July 13, 2008
The Power of a Raw Story  
If you ever hear anyone say something like, "I don't really think Web sites and other forms of 'new media' make much of a difference in journalism," please send them my way.

I will straighten them out.

Since Raw Story on Friday afternoon broke the story about my termination from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), traffic on Legal Schnauzer has more than tripled from what I would normally see on a Friday and Saturday. And that's on a weekend in the middle of summer vacation season.

Folks from near and far--as near as Mississippi, as far as Wisconsin and Washington--have contacted me. One correspondent is from Maple Valley, WA, which is about 30 miles southeast of Seattle. Maple Valley? Does that sound like a pleasant place to visit or what?

I've had people vow to contact their representatives in Congress. I've had a lawyer or two ask how they can help. An outraged commenter at one site even went to the UAB online phone directory and printed contact information of key folks to whom you can direct your complaints and concerns.

Not surprisingly, I thought that was a superb idea--so good that I want to help. Here are the key players in my termination at UAB, along with their contact information. I'm sure they would be delighted to hear from you:

Carol Garrison, president of UAB--(205) 934-4636;

Cheryl Locke, chief human resources officer-- (205) 934-5321;

Dale Turnbough, associate vice president for public relations & marketing--(205) 934-9518;

Pam Powell, director of UAB Publications & Periodicals--(205) 975-7739;

Powell was my immediate supervisor and the person who built the "case" for my termination. Turnbough is Powell's supervisor and the person who signed the termination letter. Locke oversaw the employee grievance process, which determined that my termination was wrongful, but she indicated to me in a meeting on Friday that she is going to uphold the termination anyway. (Yes, you heard that right.) And Garrison will receive my final appeal (which is due five days after receipt of Locke's written decision), and she ultimately will determine if my termination is upheld or overturned.

Does Raw Story make a difference? You can be the judge. The story already has made its way to numerous blogs and Web sites:

* Left in Alabama--One of my favorites, with a great picture of a schnauzer.

* News >From Underground--Mark Crispin Miller is a highly respected, New York-based university professor and author. He has published several books and recently testified before Congress.

* After Downing Street--An influential, nonpartisan Web site devoted to shining light on the impeachable offenses of the Bush administration.

* A Tiny Revolution--A popular progressive blog produced by a couple of guys who have written for Mother Jones, The New York Times, Saturday Night Live, and more.

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
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