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Alabama House leader Guin starts his own newspaper

By Bob Johnson
Associated Press Writer

MONTGOMERY — Alabama House Majority Leader Ken Guin is no stranger to Alabama newspapers, particularly editorial pages where he was frequently criticized for holding jobs at two community colleges while serving at the statehouse.

Now it’s Guin, D-Carbon Hill, who will be writing some of the editorials.

Guin has started his own newspaper, The Corridor Messenger, and the first edition came off the presses Wednesday. Guin said the paper, which is being distributed free to homes across Walker County for the first month, will cover news in Walker County.

The primary newspaper currently operating in Walker County is The Daily Mountain Eagle in Jasper. Guin said his newspaper gets it’s name from “Corridor X,” a Memphis-to-Birmingham highway that runs through Walker County and has been planned and under construction for decades.

“This is something I had thought about doing for a long time,” Guin said. He said he got the idea when he was a student at Auburn University and spent time hanging around the offices of the student paper, The Plainsman.

He said he doesn’t plan to use the newspaper as a vehicle for his political views.

“We’re going to try to focus on good news — good things happening in Walker County. When we do criticize, we are going to offer solutions,” Guin said.

The executive editor of The Daily Mountain Eagle, Brian Kennedy, said he didn’t know much about Guin’s newspaper and declined to comment.

Felicia Mason, executive director of the Alabama Press Association, said APA officials talked to Guin about his plans just like they would anyone wanting to start a newspaper. Even though larger newspapers have struggled in recent years, she said there has been an increase in interest in starting smaller community newspapers, like Guin’s.

Guin said he hopes to make his newspaper’s content something like The Advertiser Gleam in Guntersville, a small-town paper famous for its folksy stories about local residents and its homespun obituaries.

Guin, who has resigned from both of his two-year college jobs, said the newspaper will not shy away from stories that are critical of him, but he said don’t expect to see a lot of comments from him.

“I’m going to be careful about being quoted, but I’m going to be treated like anybody else,” Guin said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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