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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; cgarrison@uab.edu

Cheryl Locke, chief human resources officer-- (205) 934-5321; clocke@uab.edu

Dale Turnbough, associate vice president for public relations & marketing--(205) 934-9518; dalet@uab.edu

Pam Powell, director of UAB Publications & Periodicals--(205) 975-7739; ppowell@uab.edu

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.

* AOL News--Jay Allbritton's Political Machine is a widely read blog.

* folo--A lawyer-written blog that does a splendid job of keeping up with all things legal in Mississippi, including cases involving Paul Minor and Dickie Scruggs.

* Daily Dixie--I know this blog is widely read because I get a ton of traffic through its links. The author is fairly middle of the road, and his readers seem to come from across the political spectrum. The author says he knows a lot of UAB employees, and he wonders how many people would work there if the standard applied to me were applied across the board.

* The Blogging Journalist--A site devoted to blogging by both professional and amateur journalists.

Stay tuned. Much more is coming about this story in the coming days and weeks. We are just getting warmed up.

4 comments:

Bay said...

Roger, yesterday, I discussed your story here in Charlottesville, Virginia and told everyone to go to "Raw Story" to read more about it. I even have Ralph Nader's thoughts on how to go about correcting this injustice on my cell phone's video. He said forming congressional watch groups are the best start. We have the power, we just have to use it. People, including Nader, keep talking about our losing our country. I think your story shows we have lost it already. Let's organize and start showing we are taking our country back. We can do. We HAVE to do it!

JPW said...

Holy shite, that was you?!? I guess I just skimmed the article. Also got distracted by Trojan King. Tomorrow you can add me to the list. I freakin' graduated from UAB too.

Louise said...

I sent the following email to the president of UAB.

President Garrison,

Shame on you. You KNOW your treatment of Roger Shuler is wrong. The pride I once felt for UAB, especially in the area of medicine, has been forever tarnished. Stand up woman! I know it's hard sometimes.. but what is your integrity worth? Situations like this should be viewed as an opportunity to show the world who you are.
We will all be watching. As Eve Carson would say when confronted with a situation in which simple humanity was being overlooked.. "This is not the Carolina way".

-Louise Brock

The Station Agent said...

Roger, this is Jay Allbritton, I'm writing under my Blogger name because we're on Blogger. I want to thank you for the mention and I will continue to follow this story.

I just wanted to say that Political Machine is AOL's blog, it's a team blog. It's very far away from being my blog. I only contribute a few posts a week.

Incidentally, My blog is Ice Station Tango, not a very big blog at all, but you and your readers are welcome to come by anytime. :)