After more than 35 years as a reporter for Associated Press, Phil Rawls has retired. Phil was the longest-serving member of the Alabama Capitol press corps. He is widely recognized as an expert on state politics. AP Deep South Editor Jim Van Anglen called Phil “a legend in Alabama journalism.” In 2013, Phil received the Distinguished Mass Media Achievement Award, presented by Auburn University.
Phil was a journalist for 40 years, with the majority of his career spent with the Associated Press covering Alabama politics and government. He reported on the activities of seven governors throughout the years, from George Wallace to current Governor Robert Bentley. Phil covered 35 regular Legislative sessions. In addition, he also covered general news on the local, state and national level. Van Anglen had this to say:
But it’s not what he has covered that is most important. Rather, it is how he has done his job – with a sense of dignity, class and grace that has been an inspiration to me and countless other Alabama journalists.
Phil Rawls has been described as a go-to guy with his finger on the pulse of Goat Hill and his ear attuned to the heartbeat of the state of Alabama. His insight, fairness and experience will be sorely missed. I can say without reservation that Phil was one of the best – if not the very best – reporter in my lifetime. I never saw anybody any better.
Sources: Montgomery Advertiser, al.com, Associated Press
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