In perusing the list of state blogs on al.com recently, I noticed a curious omission. This site, Media of Birmingham, was no longer on the list after having been there for years.
I asked by email for it to be reinstated, and the response from an al.com employee was that this site was “heavily anti-Advance” and that “the editors didn’t feel that it was a good fit.” (Advance Publications owns al.com.)
No such guidelines are listed on the al.com page.
I have asked for the names of said editors.
Checking through the sites (which still include my other blogs), I see these are approved for inclusion:
- Blogs that haven’t been updated in 12 months or more (including those hosted on al.com)? OK.
- Splogs (a k a spam blogs)? OK.
- Broken sites? OK.
Be careful, bloggers. Any coverage of Advance or its properties could get you banned from the state’s largest website.
A copy of the email is included below.
From: —– <—–@al.com>
To: Wade Kwon <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: Blog page addition
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2013 4:59:34 p.m.
Hey, what’s up,
I just chased this down to see what the problem was. I assumed it had been added already.
Apparently, there was concern that the MOB blog was too heavily anti-Advance. The blog list is subject to the discretion of the editors and they didn’t feel that it was a good fit. Your other blogs, of course, were fine.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Alabama Media Group
Rejection email from al.com (click to enlarge)
I’ll continue to include links to the Birmingham News and al.com on the sidebar.
- The Internet Archive Wayback Machine shows Media of Birmingham included on al.com’s list as of Jan. 10, 2012.
Update Oct. 9: It has been added back. It was also cited on JimRomenesko.com.
Update Oct. 15: The unnamed al.com staffer referred me to Julie McKinney, the statewide community engagement specialist. I asked via email about who made the decision and what the reasoning was. She replied:
“I think [an al.com executive] and you exchanged messages, and any confusion is cleared up. Your blog is listed again. If you hear of anyone else removed who thinks they should be back, send them my way. It’s a constant evolution, and I try to stay on top of it.”
I invited her again to answer my questions, but have not received a response.
When I invited the al.com executive to respond in the comments, she declined because she “[didn’t] want to throw [her] staffers under the bus.”