|Title:||Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 127 Tom Baxter|
|Dates||2011 January 28|
|Repository||Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies|
|Abstract||Tom Baxter was a reporter, editor of the Sunday Perspective section, national editor, and chief political correspondent for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has written about politics in the South since 1987, joining InsiderAdvantage in 2007 to edit a website and newsletter devoted to that subject. He has witnessed many of the groundbreaking political developments of the past four decades in the South, and covered every presidential election since 1988, as well as the first integrated election in South Africa in 1994. Baxter comments on his time covering the South, the state of journalism in the present day, and party politics in Georgia.|
Reflections on Georgia Politics began in the fall of 2006 at Young Harris College, as a lecture and discussion program hosted by Georgia political veteran Bob Short. In late 2007, the Richard B. Russell Library began producing the program as an oral history video series to further illuminate and personalize the tectonic shifts that occurred in Georgia politics in the late twentieth century.
Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 127, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.
Resources may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.
Tom Baxter is editor of the Southern Political Report and senior vice president of InsiderAdvantage, its parent company. For more than 40 years, Baxter worked for newspapers in Montgomery, Ala., Columbia, Md., Charleston, S.C., and Atlanta, Ga. At the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he was a reporter, editor of the Sunday Perspective section, national editor, and chief political correspondent. He has written about politics in the South since 1987, joining InsiderAdvantage in 2007 to edit a website and newsletter devoted to that subject.
He has witnessed many of the groundbreaking political developments of the past four decades in the South, and covered every presidential election since 1988, as well as the first integrated election in South Africa in 1994. In recent years, like many journalists, he has sharpened his online expertise, and was the 2008 election night consultant for the joint coverage produced by Current TV, Digg and Twitter. He has appeared on CNN, Fox and other channels, and was political consultant for CBS-Atlanta during the 2010 elections.
Tom Baxter discusses growing up in Montgomery, Alabama, and attending Washington University in St. Louis before settling in Atlanta to work with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He recalls working with Milo Daykin, Bill Kavich, and Bill Shipp.
Baxter recalls his experience with the 1988 Super Tuesday primary coverage and his job as the chief political correspondent for the AJC outside of Georgia. He discusses his friendship with Haley Barber and Lee Atwater. He reflects on his work covering major elections in the South for about three decades. Baxter comments on his perceptions of Tom Murphy and Newt Gingrich. Baxter reflects on his experience with obtaining sources and engaging in political journalism. He compares Georgia politics with Alabama politics and mentions George Wallace and Albert Brewer.
Baxter comments on the present state of political journalism including the influence of spin doctors, Facebook, and social networking. He discusses whether the media is doing a good job at reacting to political corruption and explains the lack of coverage in local legislation. Baxter recalls Newt Gingrich's actions during President Clinton's impeachment trial and discusses the responsibility of journalists to differentiate between politicians' public and private lives.
Baxter discusses his professional interactions with Harold Ford, Jr., and Zell Miller. He comments on Miller's 1990 political campaign and also discusses Guy Millner, the Georgia Lottery, and the HOPE scholarship. Baxter comments on Georgia's fiscal situation in 2011, taxes, and the budget.
Baxter comments on party politics in Georgia and the results of the 2010 elections.