Wednesday, May 10, 2017

AL.Com Is Dying - By Donald V. Watkins - The company has already cut staff and office overhead expenses to the bone. 

AL.Com Is Dying
By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on May 10, 2017
The Alabama Media Group, a/k/a, is dying. Its readership is in a tailspin. Its subscription and advertising-based revenues are declining, significantly. The company has already cut staff and office overhead expenses to the bone. It lacks adequate resources for investigative journalism. What calls "news" is mostly a compilation of third-party press releases and fluff articles written by low-paid, neophyte "stringers".
On April 28, 2017, launched a new website in a desperate bid to revive and rebrand itself. Veteran columnist John Archibald announced the new website, named Reckon by, on his Facebook page on May 2, 2017.
Archibald explained the's new media venture this way: "We're gonna try this site to focus on posting our news of more heft and substance in Alabama, which tends to get lost in the football and donuts on the site. If you have a fondness for that kind of news, try it with me. If it works, perhaps the conversation will be a little more elevated. I reckon it's worth a shot."
During my four years in the news reporting business, I have watch in horror as degenerated into a cheap "clickbait" rag sheet that masquerades as a news site. Clickbait is the term used in the industry for describing web content that is aimed at generating online advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines or eye-catching thumbnail pictures to attract click-throughs and to encourage the forwarding of this content over online social networks.
On occasion, will sauté its brand of clickbait "journalism" with content that is designed to inflame the racial passions of its even provides a comfort zone for its readers to post anonymous comments that are devoid of any rational thought.
As the state's purported "largest media organization", has consistently failed to report any "breaking news" on the scandals that have paralyzed Alabama for the last four years. was missing in action on Federal Judge Mark Fuller's 2014 wife-beating scandal and his sexual affairs with female employees on the courthouse premises. failed to "break" any news story on former Alabama Chief Justice serial violations of the Cannons of Judicial Ethics. reported on former House Speaker Mike Hubbard's ethics violations, but only after prosecutors filed court documents that could easily sprinted away from reporting any news on former Governor Robert Bentley's extramarital affair with Rebekah Caldwell Mason until six months after we broke this scandal in our "Forbidden Love" and "Executive Betrayal" series of investigative articles on this Facebook news page.
Today's public is demanding hard news coverage that is reported with accuracy and credibility by media organizations that are not begging for advertising revenues. This explains why and how my verified readership has grown from a handful of "friends" in 2013 to nearly 17,000 Facebook "friends" and "followers" in just four years of publishing hard hitting, breaking news stories that will not touch. During this period, we have never experienced a demand for a retraction or the need to correct or withdraw any story published.
Even though accepted unearned credit for "breaking" the Bentley-Mason "sex for power" scandal, the April 7, 2017, House Judicial Committee's Impeachment Report affirmed every aspect of the Bentley-Mason love affair and cover-up that we first reported in "Forbidden Love" and "Executive Betrayal" eighteen months earlier.
Our news stories have favorably impacted ethics reform in Alabama. Mark Fuller, Roy Moore, Mike Hubbard, Robert Bentley, and many others who are ethically challenged have been removed from public office because of our hard news reports.'s problem is not the lack of content; it has plenty of clickbait news stories. is dying because it lacks the courage and commitment to investigate and report hard news on issues of importance to Alabamians.

Donald V Watkins

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