Monday, November 19, 2007

Silverman: Multimedia is the future of journalism

Says Tennessean editor Mark Silverman in his Sunday column:

I'm often asked if I would advise young people to go into journalism. My emphatic answer is "yes."

While an increasing number of people prefer online delivery of news and information, print newspapers typically remain the single biggest news media in most communities. Taken together, newspapers' print and online coverage offers a bright future for young people who want to make a positive difference in their communities.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wash Post veteran, author Atkinson to speak at library Dec. 4

Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson will be at the downtown Nashville library at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, to talk about his book The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-44.

The event includes a reception, discussion and book signing. It's free to get in, but RSVPs are encouraged and can be made by calling call 259-4000, ext. 234, or e-mailing

Middle Tennesseans might remember that Atkinson traveled to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division while he was at The Washington Post.

His appearance is the latest installment in the speakers series at the library put on by McNeely Pigott and Fox public relations firm.

Partial retreat on Sunshine law change

The legislative subcommittee on open meetings has backed down a bit from its earlier proposal to allow up to a quorum of members of a governing board to meet in secret. They're now proposing to allow up to four members to meet in secret. The current law bans meetings by two or more members.

Homeless newspaper launches in Nashville

Copies of The Contributor will sell for $1 at major intersections downtown, The Nashville Scene's Pith in the Wind blog reports. Check out The Contributor's Web site here.

Tase him, bro: Leaf-Chronicle reporter voluntarily gets Tasered

Reporter Jamie Dexter of The (Clarksville) Leaf-Chronicle volunteered to get Tasered in front of a class for the local Citizens Police Academy: "I wouldn’t describe the sensation as pain – about the only way you could describe it is annoying, debilitating and 'it sucks.'" Pix and first-person account are on his blog.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Senator proposes toughening Sunshine Law

"I'll file this bill because it's hot now and we need to get on it," Sen. Tim Burchett, R-Knoxville, tells the News-Sentinel.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Clarksville officials differ on proposal to loosen sunshine law

From The (Clarksville) Leaf-Chronicle:

"I don't think everything needs to be public," said one city councilman. "Sometimes its rather minor, but maybe worthy of discussion with another person for informational purposes."

Silverman: 'Open government is a major issue for each resident of Tennessee'

A column by Tennessean editor Mark Silverman:

But wouldn't you prefer to know what your representatives are up to even if that transparency makes it harder to do business? It is, after all, your taxes, your public services and even your public safety that's being discussed.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Another honor for Seigenthaler

This one is from the American Press Institute.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Prior restraint on cow information?

The Senate version of the federal farm bill would outlaw publication of information about cows on specific farms, SPJ's FOI FYI blog reports. "Farmer Brown says he opposes the proposed widening of Highway 12, which he says would ruin the pristine view of the pasture where he raises his 25 Jersey cows --- oh, no, the feds just showed up and they're shipping this reporter off to Gitmo!"

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Majority of Nashville mayors oppose Sunshine Law change

"We're just doing the people's work," Franklin Mayor-Elect John Schroer told The Tennessean.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

'Tennessean' will sponsor spelling bee after all

Blogger Kay Brooks has the e-mail, and has Nashville Scene Editor Liz Garrigan's comments: "If The Scene had a hand in The Tennessean’s turnabout, then our offer to step up was worth it.”

Knoxville City Council backs existing Sunshine Law

From this morning's News-Sentinel:

The Tennessee Open Meetings Act works just fine as it is for Knoxville City Council members, who unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night signaling their opposition to any changes that would lessen the law governing local elected officials' meetings and deliberations.

The resolution, spurred by ongoing talks among state officials to consider allowing more private meetings under the law, was sponsored by all nine council members.

TV station barred from Memphis school lunch center

In the wake of recent problems, Memphis' WREG-TV Channel 3 asked to go into the the Memphis City School system's Central Nutrition Center and have been turned down.

"We normally don't allow anyone in," replied (Superintendent Dan) Ward. "What would be the purpose?"

'Tennessean' circulation declines

From The Scene's Liz Garrigan: "While some dailies show gains, most others are seeing their figures slowly erode even while readership on their websites are healthy (which doesn't come close to mitigating the revenue hit associated with fewer eyes on the print product). Here at home, The Tennessean is no exception."

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Frank Deford speaks Thursday at UT-Martin

7:30 p.m. in the Elam Center, The Jackson Sun reports.

Chattanooga TFP hires Pulitzer-winning cartoonist from Christian Science Monitor

The Times Free Press is hiring Clay Bennett to replace Bruce Plante, who recently left to work for the Tulsa World, Editor & Publisher reports.

Harless leaves 'City Paper'; Lawson to join it

Metro reporter Bill Harless is going to Thailand with the Peace Corps, reports, prompting a staff shuffle. Meanwhile, Richard Lawson of will join the City Paper staff to cover business.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Claiming our blog via Technorati

Technorati Profile

Open Government committee chair opposes Sunshine Law change

State Sen. Randy McNally says he does not favor the proposal to allow up to a quorum of members of a governing body to meet in secret, The Oak Ridger reports.

First Lady bans media from meeting tonight with gov's mansion neighbors

Says The Nashville Scene's Jeff Woods: "It comes as no surprise that Conte wouldn't want reporters to attend the neighborhood meeting at the governor's mansion. It promises to be a lively affair, with residents complaining about potential disruptions to their lives on Curtiswood Lane and putting the first lady on the spot."

Hobbs is new communications chief for state Repubs

Nashville journalist/blogger/commentator Bill Hobbs has taken a post as the new communications director for the Tennessee Republican Party. From his blog: "I'm sure you heard this career advice at one time or another: "Do what you love and the money will come." Well, today, I'm living proof of that."

Climate change seminar for journalists Nov. 8 at First Amend. Ctr

Here's the release:

Register now for “Reporting Strategies to Address Climate Change”

A FACS-SPJ seminar for journalists

Thursday, November 8, in Nashville

The issue of climate change is less an argument of whether change has
occurred and more of what can be done to slow or reverse the change.

To help journalists report on these issues -- not only on a global but also a community level – Foundation for American Communications will present “Reporting Strategies to Address Climate Change,” a seminar for journalists, on Thursday, November 8, in Nashville.

The daylong seminar will provide an overview of the climate change situation, including a report on the accelerated rate of polar cap ice melt; a look at the carbon "footprint," and legal and policy strategies to address the problem.

The seminar will be held at the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Three of the nation’s experts on the environmental crisis will be featured:

+ Robert Kaufmann, Ph.D., Center for Energy & Environmental Studies, Boston University

+ Walt Meier, Ph.D., Research Scientist, National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder

+ Michael Vandenbergh, J.D., Professor of Law and Director of the Climate Change
Program at Vanderbilt University, Nashville

Registration is free but you must be pre-registered to attend. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

The seminar is presented in association with SPJ, the First Amendment Center of the Freedom Forum at Vanderbilt and The Tennessean.

The complete agenda can be viewed online at To register for the seminar, go online to or phone 626-584-0010.

FACS is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational institution providing seminars for journalists on complex issues in the news. FACS is a programming partner of SPJ.