Thursday, April 10, 2008

House subcommittee wants public to pay for records searches

From the AP:

Larger cities would get more time to respond to public records requests and people would have to pay for any search that takes longer than an hour under changes made to an open records bill in a House subcommittee on Wednesday.

The House State Government Subcommittee agreed on voice votes to the changes, most of which were suggested by Rep. Ulysses Jones, a Memphis Democrat, and advanced the measure to the full House State and Local Government Committee.

The panel also agreed to revise the legislation sponsored by Rep. Steve McDaniel, a Parkers Crossroads Republican, to require that only Tennesseans may request records in writing and that elected and appointed officials be notified about any records requests made about them.

SouthComm to buy 'City Paper'

SouthComm, started by former Nashville Scene publisher and Metro Councilman Chris Ferrell, also owns From the CP: "Company executives said the move will mean an increased focus on delivering news on the Web site and a reduction in the number of days the paper is published each week."

Friday, April 4, 2008

Ramsey is state's most powerful media figure: BusinessTN

Financial advice guru Dave Ramsey ranked No. 19 on BusinessTN magazine's annual listing of the most powerful people in the state. Some other media folks: Henry Luken of Covista Communications, 85; Tom Griscom, publisher and executive editor of Chattanooga Times Free Press, 82; Jack Fishman, Morristown newspaperman, 81; conservative commentator Phil Valentine, 79; Charlie Anderson Jr. of Anderson News Co., 49; conservative commentator Steve Gill, 43; and Bruce Hartmann, president and publisher of the Knoxville News Sentinel, ranked at No. 39.

Story asks if C-A failed in covering the '68 garbagemen's strike

As part of its extensive coverage of the 40th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis, the Commercial-Appeal did its own story looking at whether it fairly covered the 1968 strike by black sanitation workers. Dr. King had come to Memphis on behalf of the striking workers when he was slain.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Gun permit records to say open in TN following bizarre political dram

Wierdness surrounds bill that would have closed off information in handgun carry permit records, the Knoxville News-Sentinel reports.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Five-day deadline on public records requests passes out of Senate committee

The House version is up in subcommittee today.

Hobbs: State wants $200 to see public record

Conservative blogger and GOP spokesman Bill Hobbs has been told he'll have to pay up if he wants to get a copy of some video footage of blasting at the governor's mansion work site. (And he's since been told he can't get a copy of the footage at all.) The Nashville Scene's Jeff Woods is backing him up on this one.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More than 250 types of government records not open under TN law

Our chapter FOI chief Frank Gibson is quoted: "Any special interest who has a friend in the legislature can get records closed fairly easily. It’s a slippery slope — you close one piece of information on a file and then two years later you close something else.’’

'Debate and discussion ... is never a bad thing'

A blurb in the newest edition of MTSU's Today's Response newsletter from our chapter board member Larry Burris:

Dr. Larry Burriss, journalism professor and First Amendment expert, wonders why some people say that further discussion on the topic of a proposed Bible theme park in Rutherford County should be cut off. “Why the county officials and the consultants, people who are supposed to know what they are doing, can't even agree on what the park is really all about. And if they're confused, imagine what is going on in the public's mind. Now, I’ve got to give credit to some of the opponents of the park. They’re organizing rallies and protests. And that’s a good thing; they’re getting involved. But it’s also important to listen to what everyone is saying. No, debate and discussion on public policy issues is never a bad thing. Being willing to debate and discuss is how we resolve public concerns.”