Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Quorum may become standard for sunshine law

Legislative study committee will recommend dropping the law's minimum number of meeting attendees from two to a quorum of the body in question.

MTSU alum promoted to PIO at state Dept of Revenue

From the press release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Department of Revenue announces the welcoming of Assistant Commissioner Jennifer Hagan-Dier and promotion of Sara Jo Houghland to public information officer ...

Houghland, who has been with the department for eight months, will continue to contribute to communication efforts for the department. She will also serve as a liaison to the Tennessee Film Commission, providing information about Tennessee's film incentives and promoting film and television production within the State.

"Sara Jo already has contributed greatly to the departments internal and external communications efforts," Farr said. "I look forward to her future work in publicizing Revenue initiatives, especially in partnership with the Film Commission." ...

Before joining the department, Houghland assisted in production and script development at Mandate Pictures Production Company in Beverly Hills, Ca. She earned a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications from Middle Tennessee State University. Originally from Nashville, Houghland currently lives in the Green Hills neighborhood and is an active volunteer with the Tennessee State Museum Foundation.

Morris to sell 'Oak Ridger' to New York-based company

Gatehouse Media will buy the paper for $115 million, the Knoxville News-Sentinel reports.

Movie about reporter being filmed at Commercial Appeal offices

It's Nothing but the Truth, starring Matt Dillon and Kate Becksindale, reports the AP's Woody Baird.

The newspaper's real reporters and editors went about their duties throughout the filming, surrounded at times by dozens of production workers, actors, directors and camera operators.

Stacks of movie making equipment left little open space in the newsroom and its adjoining hallways.

Disruptive? "I suppose so, but I see their newspaper came out today," (writer-director Rod) Lurie said Friday.

From JP, who can't get the formatting right on this blog entry: See more at the Internet Movie Database.

Monday, October 22, 2007

SPJ speaks out in support of 'CA' staffers who bucked sponsored news

From the statement:

As news organizations develop creative ways to create new revenue streams in a time of lower circulation and ratings, SPJ encourages journalists to keep a vigilant eye toward journalistic independence and integrity. A wall between news and advertising must be firmly established and upheld. The trust of readers, viewers and listeners is at stake, and once lost, cannot be retrieved.

“I cringed when I read about an editor's interest in ‘monetizing content,’
a phrase that needs a wall right in the middle of it,” SPJ Ethics Committee
chairman Andy Schotz said. “Outsiders’ money should not be involved in the news

Saturday, October 20, 2007

'Scene' steps in to save spelling bee

Nashville Scene editor Liz Garrigan says her newspaper will apply to pick up sponsorship of the Middle Tennessee competition that feeds winners into the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The Tennessean has dropped its sponsorship, leaving the bee in peril this year. “I won my fifth grade spelling bee. I’m a spelling nerd from way back. I’d love The Scene to sponsor it," Garrigan told WKRN-Channel 2 (via Volunteer Voters).

Friday, October 19, 2007

Memphis editor admits FedEx sponsorship idea was mistake

Commercial Appeal Editor Chris Peck says the paper went on "treacherous ground" when it considered having FedEx back a six-part series, Editor and Publisher says.

Midstate spelling bee in peril after 'Tennessean' backs out

Belmont may put on bee next year but can't this year; bloggers Kay Brooks and Bill Hobbs voice criticism of The Tennessean. Hobbs asks, "Becawz thay dont caar if there fyucher reeders (an riters) kin spel?"

Federal shield law passes U.S. House

National SPJ president Clint Brewer (boss at The City Paper and former president of our chapter) calls it a "slam dunk" and hails it as "an amazing day for journalism and democracy."

Monday, October 15, 2007

SPJ luncheon panel Oct. 25 on state Ethics Commission

Topic: Tennessee's Ethics Commission -- Mission or Mess?
Views of Officials, Media, Lobbyists, Public Advocates
  • Bruce Androphy, executive director, Tenn. Ethics Commission
  • Courtney Pearre, chairman, Tennessee Association of Lobbyists
  • Frank Gibson, executive director, Tennessee Coalition for Open Government
  • Ben Cunningham, Tennessee Tax Revolt
Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007
$15 journalists, $25 all others

Phone: (615) 250-1544
Registration begins 11:15 a.m.
Luncheon served 11:30 a.m.
Location: Sunset Grill, 2001 Belcourt Ave (37212)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Commercial Appeal seeks access to sealed Ford records

A hearing is slated for next week on the Memphis paper's request to see records in the John Ford case, AP reports.

Founding editor of Gallatin paper to be inducted into TN Newspaper Hall of Fame

Col. Thomas Boyers, founding editor of the Gallatin Examiner (now the Gallatin News-Examiner), will be inducted along with former Commercial Appeal editor Frank Ahlgren, former News Sentinel editor Ralph Millett Jr., and UT journalism professor Willis Tucker, according to a story in the newest edition of The Tennessee Press. Boyers died in 1895, Ahlgren in 1995, Millet in 2000 and Tucker in 1974. The event will be Friday, Nov. 16, at the Marriott Knoxville.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ethics commissioner: We didn't deny it - we just 'deferred' it

State Ethics Commission opts not to post a defense of itself for not giving up information that had been sought in a request under the state's public records act, The City Paper reports.

Nell Adams LaFon, former assistant to 'Tennessean' publisher, dies at 90

LaFon, of Jackson, was executive assistant to Tennessean publisher Silliman Evans. She was also an aunt of former Vice President Al Gore. Services were held yesterday, The Jackson Sun reported.

Scene publisher Ferrell leaving to start new media company

As quoted in a blog post by Liz Garrigan:

"I have worked with some of my favorite people in Nashville for the last
three years, and week in and week out we put together a paper that matters to this city in terms of our coverage of news, our support of the arts and of culture," Ferrell says, sitting on this editor’s thrift store couch drinking coffee from a chipped mug. "And that’s across the board—from our edit staff to our marketing and promotions department to supporting our advertisers and causes that they support. I have loved my time at the Scene. This was just too good an opportunity for me to pass up."

Monday, October 8, 2007

Mark your calendars for Oct. 25 SPJ panel on state ethics commission

Get ready for the panel planned for Oct. 25! More details as they come available.