TV Follows Web With Alabama Trust Fund Vote Updates

It’s now 9:15 and just moments ago, WBRC-TV, the self-proclaimed “largest and most watched broadcast news team in Alabama” reported the first reaction to the passage of a referendum that spends more than $400 million from the Alabama Trust Fund to cover essential state services in Alabama’s prisons and in Medicaid programs.

But the Birmingham-based FOX affiliate got beat on this story by al.com, who posted a story from Birmingham News reporter Virginia Martin who led with the passage by two-to-one vote, but included states from party leaders on both sides of the political aisle.

Martin’s story was posted at 9:07 p.m.,minutes after WBRC began their local newscast with a local story not related to today’s statewide referendum.

Meanwhile, Montgomery Advertiser  posted a story by Sebastian Kitchen and Brian Lymanon the outcome of the vote one minute earlier at 9:06 p.m.
In WBRC’s defense, it did include a statement from Governor Robert Bentley’s office, which was NOT in the two accounts by al.com or the Advertiser.

(This appeared in an updated version of Virginia Martin’s story on al.com minutes later)

The al.com Site used what’s known as a “persistent URL” so the earlier example noted above is probably not viewable at this point.

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Author: George Daniels

George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

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