Pat Duggins

News Director

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.  If his name or voice are familiar, it could be his twenty five years covering the U.S. space program on NPR.  Pat’s NASA experience began with the explosion of Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, and includes 103 missions.  Many NPR listeners recall Pat’s commentary during Weekend Edition Saturday on February 1, 2003 when Shuttle Columbia broke apart and burned up during re-entry.  His expertise was utilized during three hours of live and unscripted coverage with NPR’s Scott Simon.  Pat later wrote two books about NASA, Final Countdown: NASA and the End of the Space Shuttle Program and Trailblazing Mars, both of which have been released as audio books.  Pat has also lectured about the future of the space program at Harvard, and writes about international space efforts for "Modern Weekly" magazine in Shanghai, China.

Duggins experience goes beyond NASA.  He led the APR news team through the tornadoes of 2011.  Along with dawn to dusk rescue and recovery updates, the news crew also provided national and international coverage for the BBC in London, MSNBC, CBC in Canada, and Australia Broadcasting in Sydney and Melbourne.  Duggins’ efforts, and that of the APR news team, were twice recognized with National Sigma Delta Chi awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. The Radio Television Digital News Association also honored Pat and the team with a national Edward R. Murrow Award for overall excellence. The Alabama Associated Press also recognized APR as the "Most Outstanding News Organization" in 2011 and 2012. And, Duggins' news series on the long-term impact of the Gulf oil spill won a national PRNDI award for best series from the Public Radio News Directors' Association, and a regional Murrow. 

Pat’s work isn’t limited to radio, with regular appearances on TV.  He also conducts interview/profile segments for "Alabama, Inc." a new University of Alabama TV series on business. Pat co-hosted “Your Vote Counts,” a program featuring college-age voters who critiqued the final debate between Robert Bentley and Ron Sparks in the 2011 race for Alabama Governor. 

Pat’s has won more than twenty awards for excellence in journalism, including a second national Sigma Delta Chi award, a National Headliner Award, and a Suncoast Regional Emmy.

Pages

Arts & Life
7:45 am
Sat April 19, 2014

A peek at Football season--Alabama and Auburn hold scrimmages

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — It's football season in Alabama, at least for a day. Both Auburn and Alabama are holding their A-Day spring scrimmages Saturday. Alabama plays at 1 p.m., followed by Auburn at 2 p.m. Thousands of fans are expected at both Jordan-Hare Stadium and Bryant-Denny Stadium. While Auburn is charging $5 for non-students, admission is free at the Alabama scrimmage. In Auburn, tailbacks Corey Grant, Cameron Artis-Payne and redshirt freshman Peyton Barber are hoping to shine.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:40 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Lights and Sirens around Dothan Nuclear Plant (Just an exercise)

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) — Officials at the Farley Nuclear Plant near Dothan are telling people not to get excited if they see a lot of law enforcement and emergency vehicles around the plant next week. It's only a drill. Farley official Cheryl Gayheart says the nuclear power plant will be conducting a hostile action exercise Wednesday afternoon along with federal, state and local emergency officials. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires nuclear power plants to conduct the exercises at least once every eight years.

Politics & Government
6:45 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Mercedes Benz faces Federal labor complaints

The National Labor Relations Board in Birmingham is hearing evidence against Mercedes Benz. Supporters of the United Auto Workers Union claim the German car maker is violating the rights of pro-union workers at its plant near Tuscaloosa. Alabama Public Radio’s Pat Duggins reports on day one of the hearing…

“Yes, I’ve been there and I was hand billing, and security surrounds you and they ask for your ID.”

Read more
Award Entries
3:14 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Best Sports Reporter: Pat Duggins, Alabama Public Radio

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide faced the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS title game at Miami’s Orange Bowl. The rivalry between Tuscaloosa and South Bend was a sensitive subject for Tide fans, since Notre Dame beat Bama by a single point in the 1973 Sugar Bowl. Many Alabama supporters at the 2013 title game were in New Orleans forty years ago and remember the loss vividly. APR's Pat Duggins reported throughout the event, both on the field and off.

Read more
Award Entries
3:14 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Best Sports Reporter: Pat Duggins, Alabama Public Radio

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide faced the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS title game at Miami’s Orange Bowl. The rivalry between Tuscaloosa and South Bend was a sensitive subject for Tide fans, since Notre Dame beat Bama by a single point in the 1973 Sugar Bowl. Many Alabama supporters at the 2013 title game were in New Orleans forty years ago and remember the loss vividly. APR's Pat Duggins reported throughout the event, both on the field and off.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:30 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Alabama mourns death of U.S. Senator Jeremiah Denton

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Reaction from Alabama officials to the death of former Alabama Sen. Jeremiah Denton on Friday: U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.: "Jeremiah Denton was a friend, warrior, leader and hero. The nation with never forget his courage when, having endured the brutal torture as a POW in Vietnam, he defied and outsmarted his captors and broadcast a Morse code message to the world. He was a man of grit and character that can't be manufactured. His word was his bond and his loyalty was unshakeable." U.S. Sen.

Read more
Politics & Government
3:52 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

APR teams with AL.com to report on Affordable Care Act

CUNY

If you've started an application to get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the deadline to finish the process is mid-April. The Act and its internet marketplace have lowered insurance premiums for some Alabamians and raised them for others. All year long on APR, our news team will be working with AL.com for a year’s worth of stories on how people are trying to make the Act work.

“I’m a cashier. I’ve been a cashier for seven years. Everybody likes me.”

Read more
Politics & Government
3:56 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

State lawmakers have a long "to do" list after Spring Break

AP

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama legislators will return from their spring break April 1, and they will have plenty to do with only three meeting days left.

The pending legislation ranges from serious matters like the state budgets and abortion restrictions to light-hearted matters, such as declaring cornbread the official state bread.

The House and the Senate have passed differing versions of the General Fund and education budgets. They will have to come to an agreement when they return.

Read more
Arts & Life
5:41 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Adapted Athletics in Alabama Part 3: The Road to Rio

Despite national championship victories for both the men’s and women’s teams, wheelchair basketball doesn’t attract the same crowds as Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide football team. However, a recent men’s match in Tuscaloosa between Alabama and the Orlando Magic team from Florida did have people in the stands. That includes Javalla Hardy of Tuscaloosa and her family.

Read more
Arts & Life
11:30 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Internships at Alabama Public Radio

Student interns at Alabama Public Radio get to work alongside our national award winning news team creating actual news to be broadcast statewide on APR. You'll get to research stories, conduct interviews, write copy, and then hear your work "on the air." This is real life experience that can go on your resume.

Call Alabama Public Radio News Director Pat Duggins at 205-348-5913 for details.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:19 am
Wed February 5, 2014

UAW Supporters versus Mercedes Benz

APR

What do you think? Should workers at Mercedes Benz join the United Auto Workers union or not?

Read more
Business & Education
5:57 am
Thu January 30, 2014

11,000 Alabama students stranded by storm

AP

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A spokesman for the state Department of Education says about 11,000 students spent Tuesday night at Alabama public schools. Most of those were in the Birmingham area. Spokesman Michael Sibley says about 1,600 students remained at schools as of 2 p.m. Wednesday. He says there are plans to get most of them home by Wednesday evening, but some students will have to spend a second night at school. The students became stranded Tuesday when school buses couldn't get them home and parents couldn't drive to the schools.

Science & Health
11:51 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Alabama's Snow Forecast-- What went wrong?

Alabama's monster snowstorm that paralyzed cities and left motorists stranded on highways has given weather forecasters a lot to think about. Tuesday's weather outlook called for snow south of Interstate twenty, impacting cities like Montgomery, Selma, and Mobile. By mid-morning, snow was blanketing Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, prompting immediate traffic gridlock that turned into a weather emergency. Alabama Public Radio's Pat Duggins spoke with Renny Vandewege about it. He teaches broadcast meteorology at Mississippi State University.

Read more
Arts & Life
8:51 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Monster Snowstorm--"The Day After"

It was a long night for Alabama motorists, first responders, and for the state emergency managers who coordinated rescue and relief efforts following Alabama’s unexpected monster snowstorm. The icy weather paralyzed roads and highways across the State, and the Alabama Department of Transportation is working to restore traffic. Motorists are warned to remain off the roads if possible to avoid the threat of ice. Alabama Public Radio’s Pat Duggins spoke with Tony Harris of Alabama DOT about the “day after the storm.”

Read more
Award Entries
3:44 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Best Use of Sound--"Civil Rights Radio"-- Alabama Public Radio

AUDIO CLIP AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE

Read more

Pages