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Reporter: Covering Civil Rights...And Wrongs in Dixie (Paperback)

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When a United Press International executive asked Al Benn where he wanted to begin his journalism career, he unhesitatingly replied: "Where the action is." Little did he know at the time that he'd wind up reporting on America's civil rights movement in Birmingham, Alabama which was known as BOMBingham in the 1960s. Benn had no experience as a reporter in 1964, but he quickly learned by following and watching those who did. One night, he might be in a pasture covering a Ku Klux Klan rally where grand dragons and imperial wizards in white sheets delivered hate-filled speeches under the glow of burning crosses. The next night, he might be inside a black church where civil rights leaders called for peace and racial harmony. It was an exciting, often harrowing time for the rookie reporter-filled with deadline pressures, danger and the knowledge that he had become personally involved in covering developments of historic proportions. When he wasn't chronicling civil rights events, Benn wrote about scientists and astronauts involved in the space race as well as reaction on the home front to the war that raged in Vietnam. His favorite assignment was covering football at the University of Alabama where he got to know the Crimson Tide's head coach, Paul "Bear" Bryant, and reported the exploits of star quarterbacks such as Joe Namath and Ken Stabler. He also found time to write several exclusive stories. One involved secret payments to the widows of Alabama pilots killed during the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. Another centered on the national boycott of Beatles records--launched by two Birmingham radio personalities upset over a comment by John Lennon that his group was more popular than Jesus. Benn left UPI in 1967 to begin the newspaper phase of his journalism career. He worked in three states, becoming an editor and publisher, before landing his best job of all -covering rural Alabama for the Montgomery Advertiser in 1980. Benn has written about heroes a.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781420861860
ISBN-10: 1420861867
Publisher: Authorhouse
Publication Date: January 23rd, 2006
Pages: 408
Language: English