News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2007
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EDITORIAL

Congratulations to The B'ham News

Winning the Pulitzer Prize is the highest recognition the nation's newspapers may receive. The Birmingham News received the Pulitzer Prize this week for its investigation into the corruption in the state's two-year college system.

Being the best is always satisfying, and excelling in the role as society's watchdog on government carries on a tradition that began even before the nation was born. The News and reporter Brett Blackledge did that superbly as he uncovered nepotism and questionable contracts that eventually led to the downfall of Chancellor Roy Johnson and caused other major changes.

Getting the information for the months-long series of articles wasn't easy. Officials stonewalled Mr. Blackledge but Executive Editor Hunter George said his reporter "was undeterred in seeking records and ferreting out the cronyism and corruption and the nepotism ..."

Mr. Blackledge started gathering information in 2005. The News has more two-year college stories to write, perhaps so many that other daily newspapers in the state will join in breaking up the power network between Alabama legislators, school board members and college administrators.

Most of us have a junior college or two within our coverage area.

Congratulations to The News staff and the management that supported this great effort.

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