The Alabama Reflector is a nonprofit news site dedicated to covering politics and government in Alabama, led by former Montgomery Advertiser Capitol reporter Brian Lyman. The site is an affiliate of States Newsroom, which funds political reporting in 34 states across the US. The Reflector publishes articles online under a Creative Commons license, making them free to share and republish across platforms. The site focuses on education, healthcare, and criminal justice, and is staffed by three reporters in addition to Lyman. The goal of the site is to connect people to the state Capitol and fill in the void left by newspapers that do not have the res to commit to state capitol coverage.
As covered by the Montgomery Advertiser, journalist Brian Lyman is using his expertise as the former Capitol reporter to lead the Alabama Reflector, a nonprofit news site dedicated to providing Alabamians with up-to-date information on the Statehouse. The Reflector is an affiliate of States Newsroom, an organization that funds political reporting in 34 states across the U.S. with the support of donors.
Lyman stated that many newspapers feel they don’t have the res to commit to state capitol coverage. However, as we’ve seen in recent years, some of the most interesting and destructive legislation is coming out of the state capitol. When you lose that coverage, you create a news desert. States Newsroom aims to fill in that void.
The Reflector publishes its articles online under a Creative Commons license, making them free to share and republish across platforms. Established news organizations like the Advertiser, AL.com, and even outlets outside of Alabama have republished articles from the Reflector since its launch on Feb. 7.
Lyman is the editor of the Reflector, overseeing coverage from three reporters on staff. He also regularly authors commentary pieces when he wants to highlight a piece of news or share his perspective on legislative issues.
When Lyman signed on to start an Alabama affiliate of the States Newsroom in fall of 2022, the outlet didn’t even have a name. He said leadership at the national level essentially gave him free rein to design the newsroom he thought would best serve the audience in Alabama. He quickly narrowed the focus to three areas: education, healthcare, and criminal justice.
The reporters at the Reflector are tasked with covering these three areas in-depth, as well as keeping a close eye on the Statehouse. One of the reporters, Dennis Pillion, has been covering Alabama politics for more than a decade and has a deep understanding of the issues facing the state. The other two reporters, Claire Thornton and Darian Trotter, bring a fresh perspective to the team.
Lyman hopes that other news outlets see the Reflector as a support system for their own state capitol coverage. His goal is to connect people to the Statehouse and provide them with the information they need to make informed decisions.
In a time when local newsrooms are struggling, the Reflector is a beacon of hope for Alabamians who want to stay informed about their state government. With a dedicated team of reporters and the support of States Newsroom, the Reflector is poised to become a go-to for political news in Alabama.
Photo Credit: montgomeryadvertiser.com