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Congratulations to the Birmingham Freethought Society

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This article originally appeared as part of SSA eNews No. 11 - The SSA Around the World.

This coverage of the SSA annual conference was provided by Leslie Zukor. Leslie is Founder and Signator of the Reed College Freethinkers in Portland, Oregon.

Congratulations to the Birmingham Freethought Society (BFS), the winners of this year's Best Media Coverage award. In a typical year, one might expect award recipients to have written a letter to the editor of their local paper or get media exposure through an article in a campus publication.

However, the BFS' project eclipsed anyone's expectations. Not only did they get local press coverage, they went on an Alabama talk show for a whole hour to discredit the teaching of intelligent design in public schools. The response was resounding, as there were even a few letters published in the Birmingham Weekly responding to the BFS interview.

BFS and their 2006 best media award
Two Leaders of the Birmingham Freethought Society: Chris McDougal & Jon Paolone

"The talk show circuit is hyper-conservative, and they wanted some contrary perspectives," says Rishi Deshpande, club vice-president. Due to the BFS' reputation for activism on progressive issues, and their amiable relations with community groups, the Birmingham Freethought Society was asked to appear on the Matt Murphy Radio Show, the city's only primetime FM talk show.

"We are definitely glad we did it," explains Deshpande. "We hit a large audience…we had some people who weren't familiar with us sign up afterward."

The Secular Student Alliance is very pleased about the success of the Birmingham Freethought Society. The club was honored with a plaque for Best Media Coverage and a $100 check at the SSA's annual conference in April.


This article originally appeared as part of SSA eNews No. 11 - The SSA Around the World.

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