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Alison Gerber

Stories by Alison

Members of the media are often quick to call out public officials who operate behind a wall of secrecy. But we're not as good at calling out those who act with transparency.

Judy Walton is a tough reporter. Her watchdog reporting often angers those she's reporting on.

You’re holding in your hands the new Times Free Press.

Our government has never been more secretive than it is today.

In 2011, one of our business reporters, Ellis Smith, had a hunch and launched an investigation into a wealthy local man who Smith believed was operating companies as a front for an unlicensed Internet payday loan empire.

The news bulletin flickered on my screen and made the hair on my arms stand up.

In the nearly dozen years that I've worked at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, I've never seen so many of my newsroom colleagues receive journalism awards for the work they do.

We told you it would be painful.

The words flickered across my phone: "Man in Arkansas."

Some stories resonate with readers.

The sheriff said the attack caused tearing and severe trauma. He said the teenager’s injuries were some of the worst he has ever seen.

Try going to lunch with John Vass, Jr.

Tennessee’s 108th General Assembly passed several laws that affect open meetings laws (the so-called sunshine laws) and open records laws.

The neo-Nazis were coming.

It’s not the role of the press to coddle government.

Some news stories seem immortal; they just never die; there's always one more angle that needs to be explored or a new twist pops up to reanimate them.

Mayor Andy Berke is trying — and failing — to muzzle the largest news-gathering organization in the Chattanooga region.

Last week was Sunshine Week, the seven days when media organizations across the country highlight the vital importance of governmental transparency and openness in democracy.

You’d think that any parent would want to know what the plan is for keeping their child’s school safe.

Clint Cooper found his way into journalism by way of Engel Stadium.

Chattanooga is at the center of attention once again.

Stuck in car for 18 hours. Having to sleep at Home Depot. Children stranded overnight at school.

It's a reporter's job to dig it out when something isn't happening the way it should. Joy Lukachick did just that when she reported last year on problems at Hays State Prison -- cell doors that didn't lock; prisoners with smuggled cellphones and homemade weapons.

It’s impossible to predict the news. But one thing you can bet on in 2014: there’ll be plenty of bare-knuckles politics to cover.

At first, I wasn't sure we should let two reporters spend day and night in the most violent pockets of the city.

It’s the time of year when jingle bells are ringing and trees are draped in tinsel.

For 99 years, the Chattanooga Times Free Press has raised money during the holidays to help the neediest in our community.

On Nov. 5, the Times Free Press published a front-page story about the arrests of 32 men charged with gun and drug crimes after a four-year local and federal investigation. Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd called the suspects the "worst of the worst" in Chattanooga's criminals.

Johnny Cash, Girl Scouts, the War of 1812, modern American art and the Chinese New Year.

One of the biggest challenges that newspapers face is how to attract new readers with new content without alienating longtime, loyal readers. In other words, how to introduce change.

Rats, mice, snakes, dogs and more rats.

The headlines screamed from websites and the pages of newspapers last week: "FBI: Tennessee most dangerous US state." "TN has nation's highest violent crime rate." "The most dangerous U.S. state is ... Tennessee?"

In newsrooms, you'll often hear the term "real people," as in: "Let's find some real people for this story."

The Hamilton County Commission last week took a step toward openness and transparency.

Like it or not, America’s health care overhaul is here.

In the autumn of 1863, Chattanooga was a small river town.

It’s a question every local paper must answer: What stories get front-page real estate?

Every day, the journalists who work in the Times Free Press newsroom crank out stories and photos.

Are you ready for some football?

In the past few days, many Times Free Press readers have expressed fear that the newspaper is abandoning its conservative editorial page.

Depending on which side of the political fence you stand, the phrases “Obama Nation” and “Obamination” are probably familiar to you.

Chattanooga will get air time on national news networks Tuesday when President Barak Obama visits the Amazon plant here.

Last week, a runaway oil train in Canada killed 50 people. Egypt ousted then imprisoned its president, triggering days of bloody unrest. Rain left South Pittsburg caked in mud.

An editor years ago told me about a training exercise he'd done with reporters: He'd throw a dart at a phonebook, and the reporter would have to track down the person whose name the dart hit and write a story about him.

What do the Red Girl and the Blue Rhino have in common?

Last Sunday, I wrote about free speech. This past week, the issue of free speech remained the buzzing conversation in our area.

On the surface, defending free speech seems noble and necessary. But when you get down to it, it's a task that can be distasteful, no matter how strongly you believe in it.

It’s June and getting warmer and stickier. That can only mean one thing: It’s the time of year when music fans mob Tennessee.

The bicycles take over this weekend, and cars will have to take a backseat (or, more accurately, a back road).

There was good news and bad news for members of the media this week.

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