Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

    UA Alum Glynn Wilson talks about his memoir, blogging, and the future of the media

    Glynn Wilson is a publisher, a website creator, a writer, and a journalist who has worked for publications such as The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. But before all of that, he was a student at the University of Alabama.

    “We were the first generation that learned to write and type on computers rather than typewriters,” said Wilson, who recently published his memoir about his work in the media, “Jump On The Bus: How the Independent Web Press Could Save American Democracy.”

    “When I saw the web, I got interested in that, and I figured that would be the future,” Wilson said.

    Wilson wrote for the Crimson White while he was a student at UA, then he launched into a career, one that would lead him from academics to reporting, all the way to web publishing.

    While he was still at UA, Wilson took a class in the New College, giving him insight that he would carry with him throughout his life and later influence his book.

    “They talk in business school about how to succeed in business or life, ‘Preparation plus opportunity equals success,’” Wilson said. “When I was in undergrad at Alabama, Jim Salem taught a class called Rock n’ Roll in New College, and somehow I managed to get a seat. He said ‘When the opportunity bus pulls up to the station you have to get your suitcase and jump on.’”

    Seizing the opportunity is one of the themes in Wilson’s memoir.

    “That’s really my life story, and every chapter has an example of that,” Wilson said. “It’s a thematic memoir.”

    Before he got around to publishing his book, Wilson taught at the University of Alabama, followed by Georgia College and University of Tennessee. He then left his career in academics to pursue journalism.

    “Instead of continuing to pursue the academic career, I had a hell of a run as a freelancer and had a lot of fun,” Wilson said. “The academic track was more of an alternative plan, and I followed my journalism track as far as I could.

    Wilson pioneered independent web publishing when he founded the site, The Locust Fork News-Journal, in 2005.

    “At first it was just a headline news page, and I was manually chasing headlines, and then I put a blog archive on the back end of that, and that was kind of innovative,” Wilson said. “People had just started doing blogs at that time.”

    While publishing was once a term used only in the print world, Wilson was at the front of bringing publishing to the Web.

    “Publishing on a web browser is still publishing,” Wilson said. “I taught for 10 years, but in the 90’s there were still professors who thought the Internet was a fad. But I assume that everyone has come around to the position that this is publishing, but that’s not how it was. I was one of the first to really consider this publishing.”

    Wilson’s current website, New American Journal, gets away from the blogging aspect of web publishing and focuses more on national news.

    As for his book, Wilson chronicles his life and his work in media, but the book also brings to light meaningful themes and some of the issues in the American media today, Wilson said.

    “Every chapter is an example of my experiences working in the news business and having an effect on government,” Wilson said.

    Wilson conveys his passion for independent media throughout the stories in the book.

    “Everybody in independent films, books, music and the independent news business, we are all launched out on this hero’s journey, this great adventure, but you always end of on the bottom of the circle, in the abyss,” Wilson said. “When you finally make it back from the journey you’ve learned something, and that’s the elixir on how we fix these problems, and my book is an example of that.”

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