Selma legend deserves high praisePublished 8:04pm Tuesday, January 29, 2013
It was Mark Twain who famously said, “In the real world, nothing happens at the right place at the right time. It is the job of journalists and historians to correct that.”
And we agree with him. Journalists often watch the world on the sidelines and describe the situations they see to the best of their ability. Journalism ethics tell those story writers and reporters to never get involved in the news they cover.
There was one notable journalist in Selma’s history who didn’t stand on the sidelines. Because of his courage to report things just like they were and report the story right down the middle, he became part of history. The stories and editorials written by Roswell Falkenberry, late editor of The Selma Times-Journal, changed the way the world is today.
As journalists we rarely ask ourselves “what if” questions. We never ask ourselves “what if” a terrible tragedy would occur — we just jump up when the bell rings. We simply react to what is happening.
But Falkenberry, who was inducted into the Alabama Hall of Honor on Saturday, did more than just react to the troubling times seen in Selma during the civil rights conflicts — he covered the stories in a way that though it garnered criticism, was accurate and truthful.
Falkenberry will live on in the history books for the way he wrote about the history unfolding in front of him.
For him to have covered something so divisive and polarizing yet still do what is right by the city of Selma is inspiring for all. Though things do not happen in the right place and the right time, people like Falkenberry show us the reason they did.