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Saturday, February 26, 2011
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The Locust Fork News-Journal
A one-man purveyor of mobile journalism performance art
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA — The Locust Fork News-Journal, like many websites, is wholly devoted to the quirks, whims, emotions, and talents of its founder—in this case, a former newspaper reporter and self-proclaimed champion of the “independent watchdog Web press” named Glynn Wilson. Unlike most sites (including many owned by the “corporate media” Wilson rails against) the News-Journal is stable and profitable—a testament to what can happen when a dedicated reporter takes on issues that are meaningful to him, and is savvy enough to build a platform and audience to support his efforts.
Read more about The Locust Fork News-Journal
The Locust Fork News-Journal Data
Name: The Locust Fork News-Journal
URL: www.locustfork.net
City: Birmingham

Type of Coverage:

Year Founded:

Staff Size:
1 Editorial
0 Business

Active Volunteers:

Business Type:

Institutional Support:
No Institutional Support

Revenue Sources:
National Ads

Revenue Sources, other: Google AdSense; BlogAds; CafePress merchandise; Spot.Us.
Principal Staff: Glynn Wilson, editor and publisher.
CMS: HTML homepage; Wordpress blog.
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Comments Post a Comment
Y'all made me laugh out loud.
Thanks for including the site in your database.
Just watch out for Karl Rove's paid operatives. They will find this eventually and try to say all kinds of bad things about me. Don't believe a word of it.
Posted by GW on Wed 19 Jan 2011 at 05:01 PM
FANTASTIC!!! I read everyday--insightful and thought provoking.
Posted by Dan Fulton on Wed 19 Jan 2011 at 10:32 PM
This comment has been edited from its original version.
As it appears Mr. Wilson is now actively promoting his site's listing in the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) News Frontier Database as some sort of vetting or endorsement, there is need for professional assessment and clarity regarding the ethical challenges and dangers Mr. Wilson's brand of "web press" journalism pose.
The CJR should, at a minimum, clarify it's standards for listing sites and whether such listing in any way constitutes an endorsement of the journalistic practices of listed sites.
Wilson is ripe for scrutiny and criticism because he is a pubic figure who represents himself as the editor and publisher of an online newspaper. Wilson does not claim his site is entertainment or "performance art" but rather journalism in the form of professional "web press."
I suspect that the listing process is far from an endorsement or vetting process. This however simply raises questions as to whether such a listing implies tacit CJR endorsement (especially to lay readers).
The ethics of my own actions here are admittedly grey. But with regard to issues that can be explored using Mr. Wilson's writing and words, several ethical issues merit immediate pubic exploration. Other issues require some degree of journalistic discretion and judgment and will, therefore, be offered the CJR editors (and other journalism sites) via traditional channels.
In my admittedly anonymous (although I provide legitimate contact info for editorial queries) and therefore "uncredentialed" opinion, Glynn Wilson and the Locust Fork New-Journal represent the unchecked folly and dangers of new media pseudo-journalism to real journalists, journalism, and thoughtful discourse.
Please don’t take my anonymous word on anything. Given all these postulates, it simply means that each and every representation must be supported with evidence. Simply investigate, review the evidence -- and, of course, any response Mr. Wilson may offer -- and draw your own conclusions.
As a contributing editor to webpresstruth, I can represent that we had hoped to develop the webpresstruth review site before a formal launch set for April. The site is still in development. However, Mr. Wilson;s claims to endorsement by the CJR merit more immediate action. My goal, and the articulated goal of webpresstruth was not to challenge the often bizarre claims of the various conspiracy theories and opinions offered by Mr. Wilson and others. While I personally regard much of Mr. Wilson's content as specious, his rights to publish must also be respected.Those rights are, however, not unconditional.
On many fronts, traditional journalism, and journalistic ethics, are on the ropes. The profession's demand that web journalists develop and adhere to ethical standards will prove decisive.
Posted by Anonymous (via webpresstruth) on Sun 30 Jan 2011 at 04:24 PM
This comment has been edited from its original version.
Plagiarism is not “Journalism.”
Acts of plagiarism are destructive to journalism and violate both the long-established ethics of journalism and scholarly discourse. Plagiarism destroys the credibility of the plagiarist and the reduces confidence in the publisher and publication. Plagiarists copying the work of other and attempt to pass off the writing and ideas as their own. They may commit fraud when they attempt to sell the work or solicit funds based upon the plagiarized work.
The Courts have generally held that a plagiarist may not claim copyright protections on plagiarized materials. According to the online Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary to : “plagiarize is to “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another)…present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.”
In the example provided below, Glynn Wilson, a self proclaimed "web press" journalist and editor and publisher of the online only Locust Fork News-Journal , a site listed in the Columbia Journalism Review News Frontier Database , appears to lift from multiple sources in a column he promoted as his "Magnum Opus."
Wilson further boasted, "I woulld like to see the idiots on conservative talk radio find a newspaper columnist who can do this." More importantly, Wilson tried to raise funds and financial support using this column.
See the entire article, with examples from original sources at:
Posted by Anonymous (via webpresstruth) on Sun 30 Jan 2011 at 04:45 PM
Falsification and alteration of documents and intellectual property violates journalistic ethics and, expecially when combined with fund raising efforts, may constitute a violation of civil and/or criminal laws. Such violations are maximally shameful when nakedly self-promoting.
On August 20, 2009 Rep. John Conyers published a column in the Huffington Post titled “Karl Rove, Rupert Murdoch and Media Bias.” Glynn Wilson (Alabama) simply lifted the entry, and republished it on his Locust Fork News-Journal site. Wilson claiming that Conyers was a “guest columnist,” and deceptively made it appear as that Conyers was publishing original commentary on Wilson’s site.
Wilson also altered the entry by inserting a laudatory reference to his own Locust Fork-New Journal site over the Kansas City Star site in Conyer’s original Huffington Post column.
Click on screenshots found at the link below to enlarge and compare. The screenshots were obtained in January 2011 from online archives maintained by the Huffington Post and Locust Fork-News Journal.
Read more at http://webpresstruth.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/falsification-and-alteration-of-documents-and-intellectual-property/
Posted by Anonymous (via webpresstruth) on Sun 30 Jan 2011 at 05:55 PM
This comment has been edited from its original version.
I would respectfully observe that the above comment regarding parental wealth has no place in what is intended as serious examination of new media ethics and accountability. First off, the facts asserted by alluding to "parental wealth" are misleading (Mr, Wilson's father is long deceased and the family's circumstances are a private matter). There is no evidence of impropriety, but more importantly the assertions have no bearing on the examination of Mr. Wilson's practice of journalism. I reject such comments, find them potentially scurrilous and needlessly inflammatory, and ask that we stay focused on journalism ethics.
Posted by Anonymous (via webpresstruth) on Mon 31 Jan 2011 at 10:06 AM
I stand by my comments. The question was borne in the original review above. It was asserted Wilson has a "secret formula" earning a living as he does. I contend the "secret formula" has very little to do with his performance on the blog, and more to do with family. Wilson has bragged publicly in the past about his family's influence in public venues.
Posted by Matt Murphy on Mon 31 Jan 2011 at 10:39 AM
This comment has been edited from its original version.
I respect your opinion and await the evidence. Although I have exhaustively reviewed Wilson's writings and postings (and the scant funding for the Locust Fork News-Journal) , I personally find no evidence of family impropriety or improper editorial influence. Regardless of what Mr, Wilson may have blustered, I have no evidence in this regard.
Once again, there are plenty of allegations that can be leveled at Mr. Wilson's journalistic practices and ethics that can be backed by evidence. I respectfully request we stay focused on those issues.
Posted by Anonymous (via webpresstruth) on Mon 31 Jan 2011 at 11:32 AM
@Anonymous To clarify, inclusion in this database in no way counts as an endorsement. The database is intended as a comprehensive study of digital news outlets in many different forms. We try to give some insight into the personality and scope of the publication, as I believe I did in this profile. However, an assessment of errors a given outlet has made throughout its publication history is beyond the scope of this project.
Posted by Michael Meyer on Mon 31 Jan 2011 at 01:26 PM
Michael, Not to belabor the point, but I have a question. Do you interview anyone other than the blogger/site owner for your review? I'm curious if you fact checked the portion of the review where the claim was made Wilson's site is "stable and profitable"? Did this information come from Wilson alone? I hope, for the sake of your organization's credibility, this is not the case. thanks in advance.
Posted by Matt Murphy on Mon 31 Jan 2011 at 03:21 PM
I did have sources other than Wilson for the profile. I did not have sources other than Wilson regarding the site's profitability. As the business is his alone, I don't know that it would be possible to have a secondary source on this issue. (Wilson refused to supply specific numbers, and I think just about any other person with a sole proprietorship or for-profit business not required to file with the SEC would have turned down such a request as well.) I quoted Wilson at length on the subject of revenues at the bottom of the story, and I think his words make it obvious to anyone that his is a unique type of business, to say the least, and that the concepts of stability and profitability apply differently to his situation than they would to an incorporated business that relies on the efforts of more than one contributor. He clearly earns revenue from the site - I think anything over and above the costs of web hosting would count as profitable in this case. And I certainly don't see him stopping publishing anytime soon, which counts as stability in my book.
Posted by Michael Meyer on Mon 31 Jan 2011 at 04:05 PM
This comment has been edited from its original version.
I hate to be any sort of defender of Kitty Kelly's writing, but is illuminating to note what Wilson contended was plagiarism of his work by Kitty Kelly.
I reference the following New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/17/books/17kell.html
The suit was ultimately dismissed, but one would think that given his litigation experience as a plaintiff, Wilson would be acutely aware of what constitutes plagiarism. I submit that It requires a thick coat of interpretive gloss to constitute any of Mr, Wilson's transgressions simply as "errors."
Posted by Ann Beuvoir on Mon 31 Jan 2011 at 06:21 PM
I submit that It requires a thick coat of interpretive gloss to characterize any of Mr, Wilson's transgressions simply as "errors."
Posted by Ann Beuvoir on Mon 31 Jan 2011 at 06:23 PM
Additional Correction.
In my comment above, I incorrectly spelled the author Kitty Kelley as "Kitty Kelly." I apologize for the error.
Posted by Ann Beuvoir on Mon 31 Jan 2011 at 06:26 PM
It is my lay opinion that anything associated with the Columbia Journalism Review should reflect the highest standards of journalism. I also appreciate that you are not conducting in-depth investigations to vet each site and thus you are not endorsing sites listed.
What critics need to realize is that digital electronic resources offer the chance to deepen initial reviews with the inclusion of broader discussion and commentary and that together these components create the deepest value for users.
A mere list of sites would offer little more than search engines yield, and sites with reviews not inclusive of robust discussion and commentary are often sterile. Such sites often yield only superficial "PR" or, at the other extreme, result in a database too narrowly defined by its editors' own preferences.
Although there are gray areas and rougher points of contention in the discussion above, the level of writing in the initial review, as well as the thoughtfulness and general civility of discussion create a rare and refreshing reference experience. Still more impressive, especially given the passions the issues discussed normally evoke, I wish to commend you and the other CJR staff for the ongoing construction and editorial management of the News Frontier Database.
Posted by Ann Beuvoir on Mon 31 Jan 2011 at 07:16 PM
This comment has been edited from its original version.
The Columbia Journalism Review praising...The Locust Fork News-Journal! HA! Whose up for plaudits next, The Legal Schnauzer? Here's a brief segment from my book, "The Governor of Goat Hill," about Scott Horton, the Harper's writer/blogger who makes Wilson seem responsible. Here, am commenting on Horton quoting, among others, Glynn Wilson, in criticizing Louis Franklin, one of the prosecutors in the Siegelman-Scrushy trial (a separate affair than Scrushy's first trial.)
Horton provided examples of this “skepticism” toward “Javert,” from the smaller Alabama papers that he had developed relationships with. My favorite was a sample from the “Locust Fork Journal,” a far-left Alabama-based blog. Glynn Wilson, Locust Fork’s one-man band and a Siegelman devotee, was riffi ng on the failings of the larger Alabama media and swerved off the subject to slap Louis Franklin. “Well, not all of us at the Locust Fork News and Journal, the Anniston Star, the Decatur Daily, etc. are ‘out of state,” wrote Wilson. “In fact, we are right here in the neighborhood, and watched Mr. Franklin botch his fi rst attempt at convicting Richard Scrushy in Birmingham. He was about as lame a lawyer as I’ve seen in my 27 years of covering trials.” If Wilson did attend the first Scrushy trial, he must not know what Franklin looks like. Franklin did not participate in any way, shape or form in that trial. He couldn’t have botched that trial if he’d wanted to. It was one thing for Glynn Wilson to get something that wrong, but another for a publication of Harper’s supposed credibility to pass it on to its readers, web-site or not.
Dearest Michael...did you ask Wilson why Karl Rove resigned? According to Willson, it was because of HIM. Yes, Rove resigned because of Glynn Wilson. oh the stories you could have been told had you called anyone remotely in the know. sad to see the CJR made a fool of praising Wilson. Your truly, Eddie Curran
Posted by Eddie Curran on Mon 31 Jan 2011 at 11:34 PM
One more thing, and this is not Wilson's error, but the author's: You issue a blanket statement that "MANY AFFECTED BY THE SPILL" felt that their outrage was not presented in the "traditional media." Prior to making this statement, did you make yourself familiar with the reporting/editorials in the "traditional media" in the areas impacted by the spill, such as the Mobile Press Register, papers in Mississippi, the Florida coast, and Louisiana? There was TONS of outrage. in fact, sometimes it seemed that the only thnigs in the MObile paper were spill stories, with multitudinous outgraged editorials and colums. you made a generalization about the "traditional media" without, as best as I can tell, taken a seconds time to actually review its coverage. Am I wrong?
As for the Washington Post not using one of his stories, probably they had lots more talented -- to say nothing of more reliable -- reporters, covering the spill. Did you ask the Post why it rejected his piece?
Posted by Eddie Curran on Tue 1 Feb 2011 at 12:10 AM
There were some calls for justification for the need for anonymity based on the assertion Mr. Wilson has a history of hate speech and threats against critics. In support I offer the following:
Hate speech is an evolving and controversial area in discussions of journalism ethics. While bare-knuckled brawls between reporters sharing post deadline drinks are part of journalism lore, few professional journalists would defend naked hate speech or threats of violence as an appropriate expression of distain, especially when directed at a political figure, source, reader, or critic.
The link below reflects an evolving excerpt of writings and postings by Glynn Wilson (aka fast2write), a former freelance reporter who asserts that he is a "web press" journalist and the editor of the Locust Fork News-Journal that appear ripe for ethical discussion. This is an evolving area of ethics and inquiry, and some postings are offered with minimal contextual commentary. Additional information is available.
Supporting text and clips available at:
Posted by Anonymous (via webpresstruth) on Tue 1 Feb 2011 at 07:34 AM
This comment has been edited from its original version.
@Michael Meyer and CJR editors
One of the hallmarks of good journalism is the courage and honesty to reevaluate when faced with new information.
As expressed above, if Wilson wanted to declare himself a writer or entertainer (a performance artist), that would be one thing, but he holds himself out as a paragon of professional journalism and the CJR database should therefore review him as such or it diminishes the CJR.
Even though most professional journalists would probably wince at being described as practicing journalistic performance art, Wilson now seeks associated credibility from the CJR News Frontier Database listing. Fair enough. To each his own,
I suspect that,given his history in these maters, however, Wilson might ultimately threaten or request that you delete his site's listing. In the interests of journalism on many levels, I personally hope you never do that. The database is only valuable if it is independent and beyond the spin of the sites listed.
What you are creating could be a very valuable tool for those interested in advancing web journalism and also provide a record of how journalism ethics are evolving.
I can understand that more fully investigating Wilson might be beyond the scope of your project, and I also accept that you have already used multiple sources. But given the discussion and opinions expressed above it seems to me that in all fairness to future database users (and to be fair to others trying to make an honest contribution to web journalism) that you take some additional time to interview professional practicing credentialed journalists down in Wilson's area.
Based on what you gather, you may decide to amend or supplement your initial review, perhaps to more formally include dissenting professional opinions (given that Wilson hold himself out as a professional journalist and not a blogger). IMHO that would be professional, balanced, and fair to everyone.
Posted by R. M. Whitestone on Tue 1 Feb 2011 at 10:30 AM
This comment has been edited from its original version.
As Mr. Wilson holds himself out to be a science journalist and his Locust Fork News-Journal site is lifted in the CJR News Frontier Database among other science sites, I respectfully submit that one additional offering related to Mr. Wilson is both appropriate and ironic.
The Locust Fork News-Journal is described by Mr. Wilson as a money-making online newspaper. Wilson also holds himself out to be a professional "web press" journalist, and an expert environmental and science journalist.
An examination of the the published record of the Locust Fork News-Journal establishes that, while Wilson did "link to" or acknowledge many AP stories, he frequently failed to specify which portion of his bylined stories were his original writing and what materials were copied (without proper attribution) from AP reporters' work. In cases where links were subsequentely broken, Wilson made no effort to insert proper attributions to the original AP sources.
Text and image support for this assertion may be found at:
Posted by Anonymous (via webpresstruth) on Wed 2 Feb 2011 at 07:16 AM
This comment has been edited from its original version.
I told y'all the crazies would show up.
My curriculum vitae is 13 pages long and spans 30 years.
Posted by GW on Fri 4 Feb 2011 at 10:22 AM
I don't think Karl Rove liked this story naming him person of the year. The picture proves he lied to Congress:
The Top Stories and People of 2010​http://blog.locustfork.net/2011/01/the-top-stories-and-people-of-2010/
Posted by GW on Fri 4 Feb 2011 at 11:07 AM
BP didn't like this story, funded by Spot.us, because it proves the Gulf oil disaster had definite human health effects.
The Untold Story of Human Health Effects From BP’s Oil Disaster​http://blog.locustfork.net/2010/09/thousands-of-people-along-the-gulf-coast-suffer-bp-crud/
Posted by GW on Fri 4 Feb 2011 at 11:11 AM
The religious right didn't like this story, which was the AOL story of the day:
Monumental clash over Ten Commandments​http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1025/p03s01-usju.html
Posted by GW on Fri 4 Feb 2011 at 11:14 AM
It seems from a quick look over of the comments within that the major criticisms of the Locust Fork News and Glynn Wilson are from "anonymous" sources- which doesn't lend them a great deal of credence. The other criticisms seem to be from people who might need to better identify themselves as people who could be seen to have various axes to grind-and some with well known leanings to the political right – and several are in the media world. (I am progressive Dem liberal).
Posted by Ben Mazzara on Fri 4 Feb 2011 at 11:17 AM
Since the lunatic fringe can't get to me on my own Website, they are trying to get me shot. They sure hated this story:
Living in a Land of Rising Right-Wing Hate​http://www.truth-out.org/living-a-land-rising-right-wing-hate58216
Posted by GW on Fri 4 Feb 2011 at 11:24 AM
This comment has been edited from its original version.
For my part, I have not used a fake name, on behalf of webpresstruth, I have also have a verified email address and engaged in off-the-record discussions with CJR staff. Moreover, Mr. Wilson comments simply confirm my assessment, based on Mr. Wilson's history of hate speech and the evidence presented above, that anonymity was prudent given Mr. Wilson's history of violent threats and hostility.
As shown by Mr. Wilson's responses, Mr. Wilson is quick to attack the messengers, but fails completely to respond to the issues and evidence.
This is an old tactic, perhaps designed to inflame the discussion to the point that the CJR editors might delete this thread. I urge them not to do that, but to simply remove and (denote where they have removed) Mr. Wilson's personal attacks (and any other personal attacks). I urge all correspondents to focus on the issues related to journalism ethics and the supporting evidence presented. What is appropriate here is a discussion of the value and impact of the Mr. Wilson's Locust Fork News-Journal as part of the CJR News Frontier database.
Posted by Anonymous (via webpresstruth) on Fri 4 Feb 2011 at 11:31 AM
My philosophy is this: There is no reason this can't be fun.
Did the AP do this story? Jay Reeves was there that day, but I'm the one who hit Interior Ken Salazar with the tough question, not the AP or the Washington Post.
Interior Department Permitted Deep Horizon Without Impact Study​http://blog.locustfork.net/2010/05/interior-department-permitted-deep-horizon-without-impact-study/
My philosophy is this: The world is full of stories, and they are all adventures, even when the news is bad.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar Tours Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge​http://blog.locustfork.net/2010/05/gulf-oil-slick-one-a-glynn-wilson-video/
Posted by GW on Fri 4 Feb 2011 at 11:52 AM
Hey anonymous: http://www.locustfork.net/vita.html
Posted by GW on Fri 4 Feb 2011 at 11:56 AM
@Ben Mazzara.
The posters above have simply asked that the discussion be confined to the evidence and a discussion of ethics and do not seek influence the discussion based on the logical fallacies associated with appeals to "authority" (i.e. their own expertise).
In the interest of removing the cloak you seem to distain, would you be willing to comment on whether you self identify yourself on other sites as an "Independent Wine and Spirits Professional" located in Birmingham, Alabama (the location of the Locust Fork News-Journal).
Not that any is required, but are you claiming some expertise or authority (in this case related to media or journalism) in your assessment of and will you clarify whether Mr, Wilson encouraged you, or in any way facilitated the comment you offered?
Posted by Frank W. on Fri 4 Feb 2011 at 11:56 AM
I read Locust Fork all the time, and it has news you can't get anywhere else. Also, I've worked with Glynn and he does the hard work necessary to get behind the story, something mainstream journalists and boxer-shorts bloggers can't bothered with. He has great stories about his career in journalism and there is no reason to believe his credentials are not valid. You didn't offer any proof, or elaboration, and I don't buy scurrilous allegations from competitors that aren't backed up by documented facts.
Congrats, Glynn, on being recognized by the CJR for your unique and much needed contributions to national journalism.
Posted by Loblolly on Fri 4 Feb 2011 at 12:19 PM
This comment has been edited from its original version.
@Mr. Wilson,
Thank you for providing a link to your vita. . Although I have personally never before read a vita from someone who claims to have the degree designation you claim (i.e., Glynn R. Wilson, ABD,) let me simply observe that there is no question that you have extensive experience and training in the profession of journalism. In fact, adds evidence to the assertion that you should be judged by different standards than the average blogger or citizen journalist.
I respectfully submit that you are simply trying to shift this argument away from the issues and evidence and create a straw man argument that this is about your political beliefs. The fact that you are well-published is not in dispute. Your politics and the content assertions of your stories are also not at issue.
Posted by Anonymous (via webpresstruth) on Fri 4 Feb 2011 at 12:21 PM
Anonymous: How about coming clean yourself? How much is Karl Rove and American Crossroads paying you? Who are you and what are your credentials to judge me, or anybody else?
I am not required to defend myself against your cowardly accusations. My work speaks for itself. Do you even know what plagiarism means? Take a journalism 101 class. I taught it for nine years. That is a fact.
Posted by GW on Fri 4 Feb 2011 at 12:49 PM
We're glad to see that people are interested in discussing Locust Fork on CJR. That's what the comments section is for, after all: to let people give their opinions, good or bad, about the sites in the database, and point out stuff that we might have missed. As reader Ann Beuvoir wrote in a comment in this thread: "What critics need to realize is that digital electronic resources offer the chance to deepen initial reviews with the inclusion of broader discussion and commentary and that together these components create the deepest value for users." That's what we want to do here. But the Locust Fork comments are turning into personal sniping rather than spirited discussion, and it's starting to run afoul of our comments policy, which prohibits libel, antagonism, and such (http://www.cjr.org/about_us/privacy_policy.php). We want people to talk here, but we also want to keep it within the bounds of reasonable discourse. So we're going to shut this thread down for the weekend, and will reopen it on Monday. Hopefully, we'll be able to leave it open thereafter.
In the meantime, we're also going to go through the comments that have been posted and remove anything that runs afoul of our commenting policy. (We'll make it very clear when a comment has been edited.)
Posted by Michael Meyer on Fri 4 Feb 2011 at 12:49 PM
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