BELIEVERS

The Tennessee Press
12
FEBRUARY 2013
Newspapers concerned with impending USPS barcode change
BY STANLEY SCHWARTZ
Managing editor, Publishers’ Auxiliary
National Newspaper Association
C
M
Y
K
An impending change by the U.S.
Postal Service from its PostNet barcode to the new Intelligent Mail barcode has some newspaper owners
concerned. Brad Hill, one of the National Newspaper Association (NNA)’s
representatives on the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee, recently presented a Webinar hosted by the Iowa
Newspaper Foundation and NNA,
where he outlined the coming change
and answered questions. Hill has been
with Interlink, a mail software company, for 10 years.
The change, he said, “will affect everyone one way or another.” He noted
that the postal barcode is there to help
newspaper mailers claim automation
discounts. This IMb, he added, is not
the same thing as the retail barcode
some newspapers use so their papers
can be sold in stores. Those Universal
Product Codes (UPCs) are available
through the Uniform Code Council.
The automation discounts will lower
the postage rate for a piece of mail.
Barcodes are used so mail can run on
automated flat sorting equipment. And
even though a newspaper might not
actually be put on an automated sorting machine, Hill said, the newspaper
can still claim the discount. The PostNet barcode is still current, but that
changed in January. The reason the
USPS switched to the newer barcode,
Hill said, is because it contains more
information and will allow the mail to
be tracked, with an end-goal of improving delivery times. The old PostNet
barcode has only two bar heights and
will be retired. The newer IMb, effective Jan. 28, has four bar heights and
can hold more information. If newspa-
pers want to continue to claim automation discounts, they must switch to the
new IMb, Hill said.
The USPS wants to use IMb for endto-end tracking for measuring and
improving service standards. The
new barcode also will provide linkage
to USPS’ Address Change Service. In
order to obtain the IMb, newspapers
will have to have a PostalOne! account,
available through USPS’s Business
Customer Gateway. There are two
IMb levels available, full service and
basic. Hill focused on the basic, which
is what most newspapers will be using. Newspapers that send Standard
Mail pieces and decide against moving
to IMb, Hill said, will need to transfer
numbers from Part D of their PS Form
3602 Postage Statement to Part E.
Also, Carrier Route Mail is exempt
from IMb because it is already bundled
for the carrier and does not have to be
resorted. “Because CR mail does not
need a barcode it wastes time and ink
to print a barcode on these pieces,” he
said. Hill said automation discounts
could save newspapers thousands annually. What to barcode? Periodical
and Standard Mail; 5-digit or coarser
sort 3-digit SCF, ADC, etc.; not Carrier
Route Basic (CAR-RT); not Carrier
Route High Density (CAR-WSH); not
Carrier Route Saturation (CAR-WSS).
Basic vs. Full-Service
IMb with full service may look the
same as the basic IMb, but they do
different things, Hill said. Basic level:
requires compatible software, capable
printing equipment and a mailer ID.
This will fully satisfy the new requirements to claim automation rates. Full
Service: requires a unique serial number requirement that would assign a
tracking code to each mail piece. “The
Postal Service proposed to make it a
requirement (by January 2014), but
that may change.” NNA is opposed to
this requirement for newspapers.
“There is little benefit in this today
… for newspapers to make the transition to full service,” Hill said. Benefits
for basic: automation rates, indication
of service request method for ACS, no
longer required to be elsewhere on the
mail piece. Full service benefits: perpiece discount one-tenth of a cent for
standard and periodical mail. Free
start the clock for tracing and tracking
information. Hill said there is little
interest by community newspapers
in the tracking feature, but that may
be because of the cost of full-service
IMb. He suggests implementing Basic
IMb now. And then watch for full-service requirements and recommendations from NNA, INF and other associations and vendors.
Printing the new labels
A number of the participants attending the Webinar were concerned about
whether their current printers could
handle printing the IMb. Hill said a dot
matrix printer could print the IMb if
it has the right fonts, but there isn’t a
printer on the market that does. Printing in graphics mode on dot matrix
printers is an option with software
support, but it may increase print time
by up to 300 percent. Check specifications for the size of the label. You may
not actually need a new size. Compatible software must be able to generate
the IMb coding and be compatible with
your printing equipment.
Some DOS-based applications may
have issues printing the new labels. Barcode size: Needs larger than
three-inch-wide label. There is no margin for error. Maximum width is 3.475
inches. This includes clear space to
left and right of barcode. The height
is actually a little smaller than current
label.
March to bring special observances
Newspaper in Education Week will
be observed March 4 through 8 at newspapers across the nation. Celebrated
annually during the first full school
week of March, it is a cooperative effort between schools and newspapers
to promote the use of newspapers as
an educational resource.
The Newspaper Association of
America Foundation (NAAF) is the administrative organization, providing
resources and training to newspapers
and educators for using newspapers
in the classroom; helping newspapers
develop plans for promoting and marketing their NIE services; and advocating for newspapers with a variety of
educational partners.
As of our press time, NAAF had not
posted materials, but one can check at
www.naafoundation.org/curriculum/
NIE/NIE-week.aspx in the next several days to find them.
Five Tennessee newspapers are listed as NIE participants on the NIE website: Chattanooga Times Free Press,
Kingsport Times-News, News Sentinel, Knoxville, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, and The Tennessean,
Nashville.
Related is the 16th Read Across
America Day, set for March 1. “Grab
your Hat and Read with the Cat” is the
2013 theme of the National Education
Association (NEA)’s reading promotion. Read Across America returns to
the beloved Dr. Seuss tale of mischief
and celebrating the joy of reading.
NEA is putting together new resources and materials and will be posting
them in the coming weeks. The Read
Across America team is preparing a
new Read Across America calendar
poster, new certificates, bookmarks
and other resources for your celebrations. One can find these at www.nea.
org.
Open government is good government, and Sunshine Week is observed
every year to highlight the ups and
downs of the effort.
During March 10-16, a nationwide
discussion will take place about the
importance of access to public information and what it means for the
people and their communities. Participants include news media, civic
groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools
and others interested in the public’s
right to know.
Sunshine Week 2013 is made possible
thanks to the generous support of
Bloomberg and the John S. and James
L. Knight Foundation.
Materials that can be used in the
news media, articles, editorial cartoons and editorials can be found at
www.sunshineweek.org.
Every mail owner will need a Mailer
ID. Use the 9-digit, not the 6-digit ID,
he said. Go through USPS to get the
Mailer ID.
Obtaining a Gateway Account
First, go to gateway.usps.com (sign
up for new account for Mailer ID), get
the 9-digit ID, good for most newspapers. Request Mailer ID from Design
& Prepare section. The CRID is not
the same as Mailer ID. The Full/basic
service box is the only one you have to
check on Mailer ID program option details. Then select Auto-generate Mailer
ID. With 20 papers you may need more
than one Mailer ID. Assign three to
four newspapers per ID. USPS recommends one Mailer ID per 10 million
pieces mailed annually. Basic IMb is
included at no additional costs from
most vendors. Check with them first.
For full service IMb, it could cost thousands and varies from vendor to vendor. IMb can only work with addresses
having known ZIP + 4 and delivery
point, which can come off the USPS
website.
|
If you are not an NNA member
and want to know about joining, go
to
http://nnaweb.org/who-can-join
or contact Lynn Edinger at 1-800-8294662.
GOAL: $1,000,000
Withholding info illegal, news media say
BY ANITA WADHWANI
AND TONY GONZALES
$700K
$600K
BELIEVERS
Contributors to the TPAF ‘I Believe’ campaign thus far:
$500K
• Gannett Foundation
The Jackson Sun
The Tennessean, Nashville
• Cannon Courier, Woodbury
• Chattanooga Times Free Press
• Nathan Crawford, In Memory of James
Walter Crawford Sr. and C.T. (Charlie)
Crawford Jr.
• Crossville Chronicle, In Memory of
Perry Sherrer
• Jones Media, In Memory of Edith
O’Keefe Susong and Quincy Marshall
O’Keefe
The Advocate & Democrat,
Sweetwater
The Daily Post Athenian, Athens
The Daily Times, Maryville
The Greeneville Sun
The Herald-News, Dayton
The Newport Plain Talk
News-Herald, Lenoir City
The Rogersville Review
• Kennedy Newspapers, Columbia
• Lakeway Publishers, Morristown
Citizen Tribune, Morristown
The Elk Valley Times, Fayetteville
Grundy County Herald, Tracy City
The Herald-Chronicle, Winchester
Manchester Times
The Moore County News, Lynchburg
The Tullahoma News
• The Milan Mirror-Exchange
• News Sentinel, Knoxville
• The Paris Post-Intelligencer, In Memory
of W. Bryant Williams
• Republic Newspapers
The Courier News, Clinton
• Union City Daily Messenger
• Bill and Anne Williams, Paris, in honor of
Michael Williams’ presidency of TPA
Lawsuit seeks DCS files on child deaths
$900K
$800K
$400K
$300K
$285,950
1-13
$200K
$100K
No. 8
FEBRUARY 2013
Vol. 76
The Tennessean, joined by a coalition of the state’s newspapers, television stations and other media organizations, filed a lawsuit Dec. 19 against
the state Department of Children’s
Services (DCS), alleging the agency is
violating the law by refusing to make
public the records of children who
died after being brought to the agency’s attention.
Filed in Davidson County Chancery
Court, the lawsuit asks the court to
order DCS to explain why the records
were not provided. It asks that DCS
immediately give those records to the
court so a judge can review them and
redact any confidential information
and for the records then to be opened
to the public for review.
Tennessean requests over a threemonth period failed to persuade DCS
to open its files on child deaths. In the
first six months of 2012, there were 31
deaths among children ranging from
newborns to teenagers.
“The public has a strong interest
in knowing what actions DCS took –
or failed to take – in order to protect
them,” the lawsuit states.
“This public interest outweighs any
privacy concerns DCS has referred to
in limiting its disclosure of information. The public has a right, under federal and state law, to understand how
children under DCS’s supervision (or
with whom DCS had prior contact)
died and came close to death. DCS’s
disclosure of this information may
help to prevent similar tragedies in
the future.”
First Amendment attorney Robb
Harvey argued Jan. 8 in Davidson
County Chancery Court that Tennessee’s public records law requires the
agency to disclose its files on 151 children who have died since 2009. The
DCS had investigated the children and
confirmed neglect or abuse in 47 cases.
“The public has a strong interest in
knowing what has happened to these
children,” Harvey said. “They were
either in state custody or DCS had an
investigative record on them. They
are our most vulnerable citizens, and
DCS is an important agency. Without
these records, there is no public ac-
INSIDE
WILLIAMS
BALDWIN VISIT
countability here.”
Deputy Attorney General Janet
Kleinfelter disagreed that state law
requires the records to be open. She
said the law requires the department
to provide limited information about
the deaths.
“The general, broad rule is that these
records are confidential,” she said.
“That’s not to protect the state, but to
protect the children and families.”
A dozen news organizations have
joined the suit, creating the largest coalition of Tennessee media organizations – in terms of number, geographic scope, readership and viewership
– ever to file a public records lawsuit,
according to Harvey, an attorney with
Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, representing The Tennessean.
DCS Commissioner Kate O’Day responded to the lawsuit in a written
statement the afternoon of Dec. 19:
“Child safety is our number one priority, and we must protect the rights
of the children and families we work
with. The department has made every
effort to provide information, open access to meetings, and interviews with
staff to what I believe is an unprecedented level while also protecting
those rights,” O’Day wrote. “Our legal
staff, together with the attorney general’s office, has recently reviewed the
legal arguments made by The Tennessean and believes we have produced all
the documents that we can consistent
with the provisions of state and federal law. We support an open improvement process for the department, and
we will continue to work to provide
information, access and interviews to
The Tennessean and other media outlets consistent with the law.”
A spokesman for Gov. Bill Haslam
declined to comment.
The lawsuit describes the Tennessee Public Records Act as “among the
broadest in the country” and says the
Tennessee Supreme Court has been
vigilant in protecting the public’s
right of access.
“We believe the records should be
made public and have worked for
months with DCS to try to get documents. Unfortunately, those efforts,
and examples of similar documents
made public in other states, did not
sway Tennessee officials,” said Maria
2
3
FORESIGHT
OBITS
3-4
4-5, 10
De Varenne, Tennessean executive editor and vice president/news.
“The care and protection of these
children is paramount. Making these
records public would shine a light on
the state’s programs and procedures
– those that are exemplary and those
that need improvement.”
The lawsuit follows the latest DCS refusal to provide records, which arrived
in a letter Dec. 18 in response to a deadline imposed by The Tennessean and a
dozen news organizations that joined
the newspaper’s request for records.
“A full consideration of the legal
arguments and authorities, including
those discussed in your letter of Nov.
28, supports the Department’s determination that it has produced all the
documents that it can consistent with
the provisions of state and federal
law,” Kleinfelter wrote in response to
The Tennessean.
DCS has provided brief summaries
of the child deaths. Instead of providing the case files or records that would
show how casework was reviewed, the
state created spreadsheets, with a single line for each child.
Those disclosures were described
as “woefully inadequate” in a Nov. 28
letter from De Varenne and Harvey to
DCS.
The disclosures contained factual
errors. DCS acknowledged the information it released included incorrect
numbers of children who died and
incorrect dates of death for two of the
children.
The case was assigned to Davidson
County Chancellor Carol McCoy. The
news organizations requested the Jan.
8 hearing.
Others join lawsuit
News organizations joining The Tennessean’s lawsuit include the Knoxville News Sentinel, the Chattanooga
Times Free Press and The (Memphis)
Commercial Appeal.
Nashville TV stations WSMV-Channel 4 and WKRN-Channel 2 joined the
suit, as did WBIR-Channel 10 in Knoxville and WREG-Channel 3 in Memphis.
Also joining the suit are the Associated Press, the Tennessee Press Association, the Tennessee Coalition for
Open Government and the Tennessee
Associated Press Broadcasters.
Knoxville News Sentinel Editor Jack
McElroy said his newspaper joined the
lawsuit because the stakes are high in
how well the agency does its job in protecting children.
“It’s such an important issue because children’s lives are at stake,”
CONVENTION
REMINDER
WHO: Newspaper staff members
WHAT: TPA Winter Convention
and Press Institute
WHEN: Wednesday-Friday, Feb. 6-8
WHERE: DoubleTree Hotel Nashville
Downtown, 315 4th Ave. North
RESERVATIONS: The deadline for
making hotel reservations at the
special TPA rate has passed, but one
can check with the hotel at (615) 2448200.
NOTE
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and University of Tennessee President Joe
DiPietro have confirmed that they will
attend the Thursday, Feb. 7, luncheon
at the TPA Winter Convention and
Press Institute.
McElroy said. “I understand that the
questions are complex, that there are
privacy dimensions as well, but it’s the
responsibility of the press to stand up
for openness and to make sure the government is held accountable and that
decisions are made in the full light of
public awareness.”
Chattanooga Times Free Press Managing Editor Alison Gerber said the
public had a right to know what happened to those children. “It’s something the public has a right to know
SEE LAWSUIT, PAGE 2
SEE LAWSUIT, PAGE 2
CHARLIE DANIEL | NEWS SENTINEL, KNOXVILLE
Daniel
Editorial cartoon for Public Notice Week. See additional material on pages 7 through 9.
ADVERTISING
PUBLIC NOTICE WEEK
6 GIBSON
7-9 SLIMP
9
11
IN CONTACT
Phone: (865) 584-5761
Fax: (865) 558-8687
Online: www.tnpress.com
The Tennessee Press
2
(USPS 616-460)
Published quarterly by the
TENNESSEE PRESS SERVICE, INC.
for the
TENNESSEE PRESS ASSOCIATION, INC.
435 Montbrook Lane
Knoxville, Tennessee 37919
Telephone (865) 584-5761/Fax (865) 558-8687/www.tnpress.com
Subscriptions: $6 annually
Periodicals Postage Paid At Knoxville, TN
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Tennessee Press,
435 Montbrook Lane, Knoxville, TN 37919.
The Tennessee Press is printed by The Standard Banner, Jefferson City.
Greg M. Sherrill.....................................................Editor
Elenora E. Edwards.............................Managing Editor
Robyn Gentile..........................Production Coordinator
Angelique Dunn...............................................Assistant
The Tennessee Press
is printed on recycled paper
and is recyclable.
www.tnpress.com
The Tennessee Press can be read on
OFFICIAL WEB SITE OF THE TENNESSEE PRESS ASSOCIATION
TENNESSEE PRESS ASSOCIATION
Michael Williams, The Paris Post-Intelligencer....................................President
Lynn Richardson, Herald & Tribune, Jonesborough...................Vice President
Jason Taylor, Chattanooga Times Free Press..............................Vice President
Joel Washburn, The McKenzie Banner.................................................Treasurer
Greg M. Sherrill, Knoxville....................................................Executive Director
DIRECTORS
Keith Wilson, Kingsport Times-News.....................................................District 1
Jack McElroy, News Sentinel, Knoxville................................................District 2
Chris Vass, Chattanooga Times Free Press............................................District 3
Darren Oliver, Overton County News, Livingston................................District 4
Hugh Jones, Shelbyville Times-Gazette................................................District 5
Joe Adams, The Lebanon Democrat......................................................District 6
John Finney, Buffalo River Review, Linden...........................................District 7
Brad Franklin, The Lexington Progress..................................................District 8
Dennis Richardson, Magic Valley Publishing........................................District 9
Eric Barnes, The Daily News, Memphis...............................................District 10
Jeffrey D. Fishman, The Tullahoma News.....................................Past President
TENNESSEE PRESS SERVICE
Jeff Fishman, The Tullahoma News.......................................................President
Victor Parkins, The Milan Mirror-Exchange...................................Vice President
Ralph Baldwin, Jones Media Inc., Greeneville.......................................Director
Pauline D. Sherrer, Crossville Chronicle.................................................Director
Jason Taylor, Chattanooga Times Free Press..........................................Director
Michael B. Williams..................................................................................Director
Greg M. Sherrill.............................................................Executive Vice President
TENNESSEE PRESS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION
Gregg K. Jones, The Greeneville Sun...................................................President
Victor Parkins, The Milan Mirror-Exchange...................................Vice President
Richard L. Hollow, Knoxville....................................................General Counsel
Greg M. Sherrill....................................................................Secretary-Treasurer
CONTACT THE MANAGING EDITOR
TPAers with suggestions, questions or comments about items in The Tennessee Press are welcome to contact the managing editor. Call Elenora Easterly
Edwards, (865) 457-5459; send a note to P.O. Box 502, Clinton, Tenn. 377170502; or email [email protected] The deadline for the March
issue is Feb. 11.
FEBRUARY 2013
Come to the Winter Convention!
I want to encourage everyone to attend the TPA
Following Nominating and Technology commitWinter Convention and Press Institute Feb. 6-8 in
tee meetings, we’ll hear from key legislative leadNashville — but it may well be over by the time
ers on their plans for this session. Associated
publishers and editors receive the February ediPress state bureau chief Adam Yeomans always
tion of The Tennessee Press, for which this colhas a great line-up for this session, co-sponsored
umn was written.
by AP and TPA.
However, I’ve learned we bend the rules and
Then Gov. Bill Haslam will speak at the noon
send this column out early in Robyn’s weekly
luncheon, which also will feature welcoming re“member update” emails. So I’ll feel free to push
marks by Dr. Joseph DiPietro, the University of
our meeting. If you’re reading this in the Press
Tennessee president. We’re grateful for UT’s longYOUR
after the convention, you’ll just have to wail and
standing support of our institute.
PRESIDING
gnash your teeth if you failed to take advantage
And I’m also looking forward to hearing from
of this great opportunity.
Elisha Hodge, the state’s open records counsel,
REPORTER talking with us in the afternoon about open govChairman of this year’s convention/institute is
Lynn Richardson, publisher of the Herald & Triernment. The other afternoon session is geared
bune in Jonesborough, who’ll succeed me as your Michael B. Williams specifically toward helping smaller newspapers
next president in June at the summer convention
understand the “digital future,” which deals with
in Memphis. Lynn’s done a fantastic job heading
social media like Facebook, Twitter and so much
up a committee that’s full of talented individuals.
more.
The winter convention/press institute is designed to help
After a full day, we’ll enjoy food, fellowship and live music at
editors and publishers handle important business and get to a private party at Margaritaville!
know each other better, while learning more about the top isFriday kicks off with an unusual “What’s your problem?”
sues facing our newspapers and meeting with our legislators. breakfast, hosted by yours truly. We’ll deal with specific chalIt also gives our newspaper staff members and student jour- lenges we face and offer possible solutions. But the deal is:
nalists in college the opportunity to gain valuable training You have to let us know what challenges you want us to adfrom some of the best professionals in our industry.
dress. These will be shared with all TPA publishers through
Under Lynn’s guidance, nobody will be disappointed this the Internet and TPA website, and they’ll be asked to tell us
year. We’ll begin Wednesday afternoon with a Government how they’d answer your challenge. What, you don’t expect me
Affairs Committee meeting to discuss our all-important bill to come up with brainy solutions off the top of my head, do
we’re introducing in this legislative session to make sure you? You do understand I could, if it wasn’t first thing in the
public notices stay where they belong — in our communities’ morning.
newspapers. To do that, we’ll be required to post them on our
Then our wonderful Drive-In Training part of the institute
websites and on tnpublicnotice.com, the statewide website op- kicks off from 9:30 a.m. through 3:45 p.m. with more than a
erated by the Tennessee Press Service.
dozen sessions on everything from writing and photography
The latest information on our bill also will be discussed to ethics and “Challenges Facing Student Media.” Remember,
during the Board of Directors meeting and possibly the TPA the TPA Foundation offers scholarships to encourage college
business session to follow. Everyone should attend these im- journalists to attend our institute each year, so please help us
portant meetings.
welcome them — and check out your future job applicants!
Then we’ll meet with our legislators during a reception that
Friday’s luncheon will feature The Tennessean’s commuevening. Be sure you’ve personally contacted your legislators nity conversations editor, Frank Daniels. I’m told he’s a fascito invite them! And it’s embarrassing for legislators to come nating speaker, and am looking forward to meeting him.
and find not one publisher from their districts present – so be
I don’t know how Lynn and her committee packed so much
sure you’re there. Your personal contact with your legislators into a two-and-a-half-day meeting. I also don’t know how any
will be essential to getting our bill through the process and TPA member can afford NOT to come. I look forward to seeing
into law without crippling amendments.
you there!
All that takes place in one afternoon and early evening. But
check out what Lynn’s committee has planned for Thursday. MICHAEL B. WILLIAMS is editor and publisher of The Paris
Post-Intelligencer.
LAWSUIT
FROM PAGE ONE
about as it pertains to the safety of children,” Gerber said. “We think that if
media organizations join together in the
face of officials not wanting to provide
public information, it may send them a
message that we’re serious about public
information and about seeking information that we believe the public has a
right to know about.”
San Diego-based Children’s Advocacy
Institute, which tracks the transparency of child welfare agencies, gave Tennessee a “B-plus” for its laws and policies requiring transparency children,”
Gerber said. “We think that if media
organizations join together in the face
of officials not wanting to provide public information, it may send them a
message that we’re serious about public
information and about seeking information that we believe the public has a
right to know about.”
San Diego-based Children’s Advocacy
Institute, which tracks the transparency
of child welfare agencies, in the case of
child deaths.
But Elisa Weichel, the institute’s administrative director, said her group is
now testing whether solid transparency
laws in states such as Tennessee are actually functioning in reality.
The institute has asked DCS for child
fatality and near-fatality information,
she said.
“In these specific instances involving a
child’s death or near fatality, we need to
make sure the system serving these kids
didn’t drop the ball or miss an opportunity to save that kid and, in turn, save future kids down the road,” Weichel said.
“There are a lot of reasons for systems
breaking down. Systems are under-resourced. It’s not about blaming. Sometimes it’s about trying to raise public
awareness that these agencies don’t have
the proper resources to do a good job.”
Agency scrutinized
DCS and its chief have come under fire
for a series of problems and missteps.
For example:
• The department’s chief lawyer acknowledged the agency had been violating the law by not reporting child deaths
to lawmakers.
• A sheriff and children’s advocates in
Dickson County said DCS wasn’t properly intervening in situations where children were experiencing severe abuse.
• The state’s child abuse hotline was
leaving as many as a quarter of all calls
unanswered.
• The DCS computer system failed to
make proper payments to foster parents
and private agencies, and accompanying
data problems have meant the agency
can’t provide accurate information on
children in its care, which has hindered
progress in a federal court settlement
that requires the agency to take better
care of foster children.
The concerns prompted Gov. Bill
Haslam to review the 31 child fatality case files in September. He said he
SEE LAWSUIT, PAGE 3
The Tennessee Press
FEBRUARY 2013
11
Response to Safer’s lament for newspapers
BY KEVIN SLIMP
TPS technology director
My 13-year-old son
received an iPod
Touch for Christmas
this year. I know my
son. Probably as well
as I’ve ever known
anyone. And I knew,
given time, he would
lose his expensive
Slimp
gift.
In an effort to soften
the blow when the device did turn up
missing, I had Zachary create a background screen with the words, “If you
find this iPod, please email [email protected]
kevinslimp.com to let my dad know you
have it.”
I had to tell you that story, so you
would understand the reference to my
son a little further down this column.
Now for story number two. In the late
’90s, I left the newspaper world for a
few years to be director of communications for the United Methodist Church
in my part of the United States. I had
a staff that created publications, online
content, public relations material and a
newspaper. Some of the most interesting aspects of my job came under the
heading of “crisis communication.”
As crisis communication director, I
prepared the organization for emergencies we hoped we’d never see. Several
thousand professionals made up the
clergy and staffs of these congregations
and it was my job to be sure they were
ready in the event of a “media event.” I
was quite adept at getting TV reporters
to report just about anything. Newspapers weren’t as quick – you might say
“gullible” – to accept everything as the
truth, so I generally used television to
get information out to the masses.
This meant I would create text that
ministers and others were to use if
called by a member of the media during
a crisis. They were always instructed,
if the reporter wanted more information than I had provided, to contact me
directly.
Understanding that story will also
come in handy as you read further.
So last night I was having dinner with
a friend when I got a text that read, “Are
you watching ‘60 Minutes?’”
“No,” was my immediate response.
“They’re saying the newspaper industry is dead. I thought you’d want to
know.”
Within minutes came an email from
Karen Geary of The Paris Post-Intelligencer. “Did you see ‘60 Minutes’?
It’s a story about The Times-Picayune.
They’re saying newspapers are dead.”
The evening continued like that with
texts, emails and calls arriving from
concerned viewers near and far.
This morning, I found the 12-minute clip online and watched it. Then I
watched it again. Then I watched it and
took notes. In less than 11 seconds, Morley Safer said, referring to newspapers,
“virtually an entire industry in freefall.”
The story, of course, was about the
Times-Picayune’s move from a daily to
a three-days-a-week publication. I was
especially interested because some of
the folks in the story were the same
folks who contacted me back when the
shift was announced.
Steve Newhouse declined to be interviewed for the story. That job fell to Jim
Amoss, longtime editor of the paper.
Safer’s first question to Amoss seemed
simple enough. “Did you agree with the
decision to start publishing three days
a week?”
I’m listening to this interview for the
fourth time as I write. And for the life of
me, I still haven’t heard him answer the
question. He gave what sounded to me
like a “packaged” response, the kind I
might have written years ago.
It reminded me so much of my son,
when I asked where his iPod was, knowing full well it had been lost. He told me
all about the possible places an iPod
could be, without coming out and telling me he’d lost it a few days earlier.
I felt for him. I wanted Amoss to tell us
what he really thought, one way or the
other. All I got from listening to his interview was that the industry was grappling with options. Safer equated what
was happening to surgery, where all the
limbs are amputated and replaced by
artificial limbs.
In an open letter to Advance, the paper’s parent company, several highprofile citizens of New Orleans, including many names that you would know,
wrote that “The Newhouses are losing
the trust of the community.”
David Carr, New York Times reporter,
said, “I don’t think they expected the
hurricane winds that came against
them.”
Yet in a radio interview from a few
weeks ago, David Francis, business
manager for the NOLA Media Group,
of which The Times-Picayune is a part,
said that New Orleans is “embracing us
again.”
I called Carl Redman, executive editor
of The Advocate in Baton Rouge, to ask
him about the new daily paper in New
Orleans created by the Baton Rouge
paper. Redman reports that his group
was overwhelmed by the response to
the new daily. They had hoped for a
circulation of 10,000 by February 2013.
Instead, more than 10,000 subscribed to
the newspaper within a week. Between
home delivery and single copy sales,
The Advocate currently reaches approximately 20,000 homes each day.
I tried to reach someone at The TimesPicayune, sending emails to the publisher and several managers but received
no response.
Finally, I decided to talk with Rob Curley, deputy editor of the Orange County
HOW TO CONTACT US
Tennessee Press
Association
Mail: 435 Montbrook Lane,
Knoxville, TN 37919
Phone: (865) 584-5761
Fax: (865) 558-8687
Web: www.tnpress.com
E-mail: (name)@tnpress.
com
Those with boxes, listed
alphabetically:
Laurie Alford (lalford)
Pam Corley (pcorley)
Morley Safer talks about newspapers on CBS-TV’s ‘60 Minutes.’
Register, whose resume includes more
experience in online journalism than
anyone I can think of. Rob is a household name and I figured he could give
me insight on whatever it is I’m missing related to The Times-Picayune conversion to a non-daily.
Instead we spent most of our conversation talking about his new job in Orange County. The Register is one of the
20 biggest papers in the country.
Rob has left his role as online guru to
serve as one of five deputy editors of
the paper. He explained that, since July,
the Register has increased its newsroom staff from 185 writers and editors
to 300.
I could write several columns about
the changes at the Register, but I could
sense Rob’s excitement when he discussed his work with America’s “largest community newspaper,” a description credited to Ken Brusic, executive
editor.
After spending my afternoon interviewing Carl Redman and Rob Curley, I
found it difficult to understand why Saf-
er referred to newspapers as “dying.”
I found it even harder to understand
after reading a story in News & Tech
today that six of eight publicly-traded
newspaper companies showed increases
in their stock prices in 2012. Not small
increases, but double-digit increases.
I love talking with folks who are excited about working for their newspapers.
I visited with two newspapers over
the past two weeks to work with their
staffs. Both papers are doing well and
continue to invest in the future.
It’s no coincidence that papers that invest in the future thrive. And while the
Orange County Register may be America’s largest community paper, you can
bet that thousands of community papers will continue to serve their communities and surprise Morley Safer at
the same time.
My suggestion? Remind your readers that your paper is providing a vital
service to the community as it has for
years. And, perhaps, take a cue from the
folks in Orange County and continue to
invest in the future.
Fishman continues on NNAF board;
news fellows program developed
A new slate of officers was elected
to lead the National Newspaper Association Foundation (NNAF) during
the NNA convention in Charleston,
SC. Elected president was Elizabeth
Parker, executive editor and co-publisher of New Jersey Hills Media Inc. in
Bernardsville, N.J. Continuing to serve
on the board of directors is R. Jack
Fishman, president of Lakeway Publishing, Morristown. The foundation
board unanimously agreed that new
programs must be developed to bring
the importance of community newspapers into the foreground. It adopted
a plan to develop a news fellows pro-
gram to coincide with the We Believe
in Newspapers Leadership Conference
March 14-15 in Washington.
Grants from state associations to fund
college journalism students as fellows
in the program will be sought, and
community journalism mentors will
be matched with them to provide guidance on how to gather news stories in
Washington, where a constant brew of
fact and opinion compete for public attention.
Contributions to the program may be
sent to NNAF in care of Bill Miller, P.O.
Box 336, Washington, Mo. 63090-0336.
Angelique Dunn (adunn)
Beth Elliott (belliott)
Robyn Gentile (rgentile)
Frank Gibson (fgibson)
Earl Goodman (egoodman)
Kathy Hensley (khensley)
Greg Sherrill (gsherrill)
Kevin Slimp (kslimp)
David Wells (dwells)
Heather Wright (hwright)
Advertising e-mail:
[email protected]
Tennessee Press Service
Mail: 435 Montbrook Lane,
Knoxville, TN 37919
Phone: (865) 584-5761
Fax: (865) 558-8687
Web: www.tnadvertising.
biz
Tennessee Press
Association Foundation
Mail: 435 Montbrook Lane,
Knoxville, TN 37919
Phone: (865) 584-5761
Fax: (865) 558-8687
Web: www.tnpress.com
The Tennessee Press
10
FEBRUARY 2013
Looking better –
Cribb survey
OBITUARIES
FROM PAGE 5
ily she worked for several years at
the Kingsport Times News. She was a
loving wife, mother, grandmother and
great-grandmother. She was a member
of Pleasant View Baptist Church from
1947 until her death.
She was predeceased by her husband
of 47 years, Ballard D. Sizemore and
parents, Edward and Lillie Kitzmiller.
She leaves a daughter, Sheila Fleming of Kingsport; two sons, R. Dillon
Sizemore of Germanton, N.C. and Rick
Sizemore of Kingsport; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
(Kingsport Times-News,
Dec. 24, 2012)
sales staff of The Tennessean, remaining there 14 years except for serving
in the Pacific Theater of World War
II from 1941 to 1945. He was a machine
gunner most of the time.
In 1948 he joined the sales staff of
WSIX and remained there 48 years.
In early years he was a member of
Hobson Methodist Church. After he
and his wife were married at Calvary
United Methodist Church, he joined it.
Stratton was married to the late Louise Henegar.
(The Tennessean, Nashville,
Nov. 28, 2012)
Doug Young
Edward Stratton
Knoxville Journal writer
Once with Tennessean
The
Knoxville
Journal lost a great
writer and beloved
friend in December.
Douglas Lindley
Young, also known
as D. Lindley Young
and Doug Young,
died Dec. 4 at his
Young
home in Oak Ridge.
He was 63.
Young grew up in North Knoxville,
and graduated from Fulton High School
in 1968, where he was a member of the
winning football team, along with his
best friend, Herb Newton. He attended
the University of Tennessee for two
years before moving to Los Angeles. He
graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles and attended the
California College of Law. He passed
the bar exam on his first attempt in
Edward M. (Ed) Stratton, a former
advertising salesman for The Tennessean, Nashville, died Nov. 25. He was
101. His home was in Nashville.
He was owner and president of Merry Sounds Advertising Agency, which
he founded in 1976 and continued until
his death.
He was the voice of Emma’s Flowers, “The Superlative Florist,” on
television and radio since 1983, which
brought many compliments and offers
of employment from advertising agencies in large cities. He refused them all.
He graduated from Central High
School and attended the University of
Tennessee. He worked his way through
college at the height of the Great Depression.
In 1935 he joined the advertising
California and practiced criminal law
in Los Angeles for many years. Young
moved to Florida for health reasons,
later returning to Knoxville to take
care of his ailing father.
While living in Los Angeles, Young
created the Salute America Organization and The Winner in You Award and
organized and hosted an event that
was the “largest national day of award
giving in history.” Young’s theme was
“There is a winner in you.” Young was
also one of the founders of the Annual
Super Celebrity Event to End World
Hunger, organizing and planning the
first gala held in Los Angeles in 1983.
One of the joys of his life was to see
others receive awards for merit and
achievement.
In 2003, Young, known on air as Wild
Bill Lindley, began the radio show Salute America at Horne Radio Station
850 AM. The show was a political talk
show that focused on national and international news, but, also included
guests from the local political arena.
Doug’s son, Scott Young, was the producer, the board was handled by Tracy
Meares, and the co-host, who was added September 2007, was Martha Rose
Woodward, writer with the Knoxville
Journal. Because of that show, Young
met Renee Wheeler, owner of the Knoxville Journal, and Martha Woodward,
writer, who would become his dearest
friends. Young was also founder of the
Modern Tribune, an online news site.
Young’s numerous hobbies included
computers, writing, lecturing, reading, politics, studying history, giving
awards, hosting radio shows, walking
and he was an ardent fan of University
of Tennessee sports.
Young was most recently employed
by Renee Wheeler of the Knoxville
Journal as political writer and spokesperson.
“Doug will always be remembered in
our hearts as a great man who was an
inspiration to all of us who knew him.
He was kind, gentle and known for his
sacrificial giving. We will miss him so
much,” stated Wheeler.
“Doug Young was one of my best
friends. I miss him terribly already.
The world was a better place because
he was in it,” Woodward said.
Young was preceded in death by
his wife, Maxine, and father, Carlo
Young. He leaves a son, Scott Young,
and grandson, Gabriel Young, both of
Knoxville, and his mother, Barbara
Mason of Daytona Beach, Fla.
(The Knoxville Journal,
Dec. 7, 2012)
Wayman Zachary
Former Sun employee
Wayman Allan Zachary of Byrdstown died Dec. 9. He was 70.
He was born Oct. 27, 1942 in Pickett
County to the late Wayman Hobert
and Mildred Cope Flowers Zachary.
He lived most of his life in Ohio and
Jackson.
He was a former employee of The
Jackson Sun, a veteran of the Air
Force and of the Church of Christ
faith.
(Pickett County Press,
Dec. 20, 2012)
Chappell: Good citizen, good friend, great newspaperman
BY SAM D. KENNEDY
Kennedy Newspaper Co., Columbia
Fred Chappell, longtime circulation
director of The Daily Herald, Columbia, died last night.
He succumbed to Parkinson’s disease, which had ravaged this strong
man who did not take defeat lightly.
He was the circulation director of
the Herald for more than a half-century and was my trusted aide in the
years when I was publisher there.
Words usually come easily to me, but
this is difficult.
Fred was more than a treasured coworker, more than a friend; he was one
of those I depended on and in whom I
had absolute trust.
He did so much for the young men
who came to work as paper carriers,
many of whom had few prospects,
to make them useful citizens. He did
more for those boys (and later girls)
The Tennessee Press
FEBRUARY 2013
than all the social workers, teachers
and preachers in the county. He was
a mentor, counselor, first sergeant,
instructor and father figure to hundreds of carriers who delivered your
Daily Herald from 1949 to the turn of
the century. Often the small amount
they earned was all the money they
had, and Fred made sure it was spent
wisely and benefited their families. He
saw to it that they attended school, had
warm clothes and that they learned
how to work and be responsible.
It is foolish of me to use names because I will miss too many, but Jimmy
Dooley, county tax assessor, Police
Chief Pat Troope; James Dickey, Judge
Buddy Wise and Tennessee Highway
Patrol Officer Marvin Ricketts all
quickly come to mind as some of his
young men who went on to successful
lives and careers.
I count him among those who contributed the most to our county during
my life.
He loved the Herald, and he loved
being a newspaperman. He believed
in the Herald, and his efforts helped
make it one of the best small daily
newspapers in Tennessee.
He believed strongly that our paper
should lead, be an instrument for good,
and did his part to make it so.
He loved to be a reporter, though that
was not his job. He especially enjoyed
chasing down stories on the police
beat.
Fred had few formal degrees, but
he was one of the smartest and besteducated men I ever knew. He read prodigiously and stayed fully informed
about public affairs.
In theory, I was his boss, but he never
hesitated to challenge my opinion and
debate the stands our paper should
take on public issues. He always did
this with a smile on his face and usually, he was right.
We thought he was destined to die
a bachelor, but suddenly he surprised
us by marrying one of our brightest
young reporters, Sue McClure. She
was smart enough and bright enough
to keep up with her husband and has
been his love and supporter through
good times and bad and his strength in
his days of sickness.
Good citizen, good friend, great newspaperman – this community is far better for having had Fred on the job.
Betty and I, the old Herald crew and
those he worked with in recent years
all mourn his passing and send our
love and sympathy to Sue.
We will miss him, too.
Sam D. Kennedy is publisher of the
Lawrenceburg Advocate and a former
editor and publisher of The Daily Herald.
(The Daily Herald, Columbia,
Dec. 20, 2013)
The Cribb, Greene Publisher Confidence Survey Fall 2012 key question
categories seem to point to much stronger positive forecasts from newspaper
executives on the near-term future.
One hundred eight newspaper executives completed the 2012 survey.
In particular is a strong increase in
executives who believe that the local
economy in their markets is improving – up from 14 percent in 2011 to
more than 40 percent in 2012 who believe their markets are up.
Those who think their market economies are declining went from 26 percent in 2011 down to 13 percent in 2012.
The results of this question indicate
that publishers believe their economic
situation is improving markedly.
(Missouri Press Association)
Business journalism
training offered
The Walter J. Lemke Department of
Journalism at the University of Arkansas and the Missouri Press Association have partnered with the Donald
W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism to bring free training
in business journalism to community
journalists, including those from Missouri.
The day-long workshop, “Uncovering the Best Local Business Stories,”
will take place April 12 in the Donald
W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. It is free for journalists, journalism students and faculty,
but registration is required.
For more information, email Linda
Austin, [email protected]
Two newspapers
increase prices
The Weakley County Press, Martin,
started the new year with an increase
in its single copy price. It went from 50
cents to 75 cents. The paper, with circulation near 3,700, publishes Tuesday
and Thursday. This paper is owned by
David Critchlow of Union City, according to the 2013 Tennessee Newspaper
Directory.
The Dresden Enterprise in Weakley
County raised its price on Jan. 1 from
50 to 75 cents. The Enterprise, which
prints on Wednesday, has a circulation
of almost 4,000. Its owner is Tri-County
Publishing Co., the directory shows.
Kudos
Joel and Brittany Washburn, The
McKenzie Banner, were the first to
register for the Winter Convention
and Press Institute. TPA received their
form on Dec. 14.
3
LAWSUIT
FROM PAGE 2
KATHY HENSLEY | TPS
Tennessee Press Service Director Ralph Baldwin, chief operating officer, Jones Media Inc., Greeneville, right,
visited TPA/TPS on Jan. 8 to meet with Greg Sherrill, TPS executive vice president, and Laurie Alford, controller.
NNA to market AP News Choice
The National Newspaper Association on Jan. 2 rolled out a new marketing partnership with the Associated
Press to encourage weekly newspapers
to take advantage of the AP’s new wire
service for weeklies. Available only to
papers publishing no more than twice
weekly, it provides real-time AP news
for print or digital publications at a
cost designed to fit the smaller newspa-
per budget. Subscribers will be invited
to choose from among several categories of news streams, one of which is
state news.
Stories are delivered into the AP Exchange browser, which enables a user
to create searches for people and topics with local ties, towns and neighborhoods. Participants can package
News Choice in their newspapers and
on websites or other digital offerings.
The NNA manager for News Choice is
Sara Walsh, located in NNA’s Columbia, Mo. office. She can be reached at
[email protected]
MARKETPLACE
Advertising Retail Sales Manager—The Northeast Tennessee Media
Group in Kingsport, TN is seeking
an Advertising Retail Sales Manager
to lead a territory team of sales executives. This position will drive and
grow revenue by identifying sales opportunities, executing sales strategies
and coaching sales executives in order
to meet print, online and niche goals.
This position requires a candidate that
will have a minimum of 3 to 5 years experience, selling across print, digital
and other media. Please send resume,
references and salary requirements to
Justin Wilcox at [email protected] No phone calls please.
Digital Sales Manager—The Northeast Tennessee Media Group is seeking a Digital Sales Manager to lead
a territory team of sales executives.
This position will drive and grow revenue by identifying sales opportunities,
executing sales strategies and coaching sales executives in order to meet
online and niche goals. This position
requires a candidate that will have a
minimum of 3 to 5 years experience,
selling across digital and other media.
Please send resume, references and
salary requirements to Justin Wilcox
at [email protected] No
phone calls please.
Have a job opening?
Post your open
positions and review resumes
in the employment area of
www.tnpress.com.
couldn’t find signs that DCS made errors.
Haslam told The Tennessean in October that he wanted to hand over the
case files to show the type of effort
that DCS put into those cases but that
O’Day talked him out of that because
of privacy concerns. O’Day said she
didn’t want to identify the deceased
children in the interest of protecting
the privacy of surviving family members. “These are very real issues and
the reasons for these privacy laws,”
O’Day said then. “They’re not to protect DCS – they’re really to protect the
families.”
Haslam has since backed the department’s withholding of the files.
Clarification: A story in Thursday’s
Tennessean may have left the impression that the DCS failed to respond to a
request from the Children’s Advocacy
Institute for child fatality and nearfatality information. The institute
said it sent a certified letter to the state
requesting that information but never
received a return receipt showing the
letter had arrived. DCS said on Friday
that it never received the certified letter requesting the information.
The Tennessean originally requested
records in September of all fatalities
and near fatalities from January 2009
to June 2012. DCS first turned over a
spreadsheet that Harvey characterized as containing “no information of
any use.”
When the paper requested more information on five cases, DCS provided
brief summaries. In one, the agency
was not involved with the family prior
to the trauma that led to her death. In
the other four, according to the summaries, the agency’s prior involvement
with the family was “not pertinent” to
the child’s death or near death.
In one of those cases, the summary
indicates a 3-year-old girl was on a
trial visit with her grandmother when
she ingested opiates and was physically abused. “There is no explanation
of what that prior involvement was,”
Harvey said in court. “...There is no
way to evaluate this.”
Chancellor Carol McCoy said it
was important for the public to know
whether DCS was doing all it could to
protect children.
“It’s important to know, not just how
a child died, but how did the child get
into the custody of the person (who
killed the child),” she said. McCoy
also said it was important to protect
children and families from notoriety,
especially in the cases where the child
was still alive.
As part of a court order, the state
turned over to McCoy all of its records
relating to four of its cases.
McCoy said she would review the records and rule later on what information, if any, must be made public.
(Adapted, Associated Press,
Dec. 20, 2012 and Jan. 9, 2013 )
FORESIGHT
2013
FEBRUARY
6: Tennessee Coalition for Open
Government meeting, 10
a.m., DoubleTree Hotel,
Nashville
6-8: TPA Winter Convention
and Press Institute, DoubleTree Hotel, Nashville
22: Deadline for submitting
entries for Advertising/Circulation Ideas Contest
22: Deadline for submitting
entries for UT-TPA State
Press Contests
MARCH
3-9: Sunshine Week
3-9: Newspaper in Education
Week
14: National Freedom of Information Conference, Freedom
Forum, Washington, D.C.
14: NNA We Believe in Newspapers Leadership Summit,
Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport, Arlington, Va.
16: National Freedom of Information Day
APRIL
4-6: 17th Annual American
Copy Editors Society National
Conference, St. Louis, Mo.
5: SPJ Region 12 (Rivers
Region) Spring Conference,
Oxford, Miss.
12: Deadline for Networks ad
rep sales contest
25-27: Mid-Atlantic Newspaper
Advertising and Marketing
Executives Conference, Holliday Inn-Charleston, Mt.
Pleasant, S.C.
27: Associated Press Managing Editors and Broadcasters
Awards Banquet, Nashville
28: International Newspaper
Marketing Association World
Congress, Marriott Marquis,
New York, N.Y.
MAY
2-3: TPA Advertising/Circulation Conference (tentative)
JUNE
13-15: 144th Anniversary Summer Convention, DoubleTree
Hotel, Memphis
20-23: Investigative Reporters
and Editors Conference, San
Antonio Marriott Rivercenter
24-26: American Society of
Newspaper Editors Annual
Conference, Marriott Washington, Warman Park, Washington, D.C.
JULY
10-14: International Society
of Weekly Newspaper Editors
Conference, St. Norbert College, Green Bay, Wis.
12: UT-TPA State Press Contests
Awards Luncheon, Nashville
(tentative)
SEE FORESIGHT, PAGE 4
The Tennessee Press
4
FEBRUARY 2013
OBITUARIES
Marie Allmon
Former Vidette office manager
BY MARIE CORHERN
Managing editor
Serving Hartsville through her sweet
personality and dedication as the face
of The Hartsville Vidette for 11 years,
Marie Allmon passed away Dec. 16 in
Carthage.
Either you knew her sweet, adventurous side or her feisty side, Allmon
will be best remembered for her dedication to her family, Hartsville and the
newspaper she helped mold.
“From the first time that I met her, it
was like I had always known her,” said
County Clerk Rita Crowder. “She was
one of the nicest, sweetest people that
I had met. I will miss her. We all liked
Marie…we all loved Marie.”
Former Vidette Editor Bracken Mayo
said, “She was one of the best things
about working at the Vidette. It was
my first real job out of MTSU, and she
was really the perfect co-worker.
“She was a little taste of the old
school newspaper production. She
cared a lot about the Vidette, and she
cared a lot about Hartsville.”
Bracken, with a laugh, recalled a story that staffers told him about Allmon
when he first joined the staff.
“There is a story about her throwing
a telephone, coffee cup or something
at the editor before me. I was warned
about it when I first started to work
there. They were like, ‘Don’t get on
this woman’s bad side. She tried to assault the editor before you.’”
Allmon, 66, served the Vidette from
2001-11 as the office manager. She
retired in August. Many have commented how wonderful a person and
friend Allmon was, and several at The
Lebanon Democrat even called her an
“office mommy.” One of those was Accounting Manager Shelagh Mason.
“Either work related or outside of
work, she was always a pleasure. She
will definitely be missed,” said Mason.
District 2 Commissioner John Oliver called Allmon a “real, fine sweet
Southern lady.”
“She was always had a smile for
anyone who came in the door,” said
Oliver.
WTNK radio personality Jerry Richmond added, “Even when she got so
sick, it didn’t seem to affect her attitude. She was always so friendly every
time I walked into the door, and I think
she treated everyone that way.”
“I could never have done my job as
editor without Marie Allmon,” said
former Vidette Editor Liz Ferrell. “In
2006 I walked in the door, just as green
as grass, and there she was, day in and
day out. She was steady as a rock and I
leaned on her a lot.
“Marie listened to me, too, and she
gladly offered any insights she had
about people and about the town.
Wednesdays after deadline were our
most laid-back day, and we would play
catch-up and tell each other about our
week. We would talk and laugh and
solve each other’s and all the world’s
problems. We enjoyed being together
so much. There was not a day she was
not a joy to work with. I think we took
a lot of strength from each other.”
“Marie loved and understood the
people of Trousdale County,” said Ferrell. “She also loved the Vidette, and
she was proud of its heritage. And she
understood its role and its importance
in the lives of Trousdale County residents. She understood intuitively what
our customers wanted and needed.
“She was a great observer of human
nature, and she had a lot of wisdom, a
lot of common sense and a lot of compassion – she would listen to customers, and a lot of them would pour their
hearts out to her. They were never just
customers to her. They became her
friends.”
For every editor, staffer, citizen, concerned parent, outraged person or just
anyone who just wanted to step in for
a spell, they became family to Allmon.
She could tell you a story about every
person that set foot in the Vidette.
“Marie was truly one of the nicest
people I have ever worked with,” said
Lebanon Publishing Co. Publisher Joe
Adams. “She had the most infectious
sunny personality. Even when things
like floods happened she was always
the first to help me look on the bright
side.
“She was tireless in making her
customers happy, even up to the day
she retired. Her hard work and her
attitude of customer service were unmatched. She was always happy and always wanted to make things better for
everyone. We will miss her greatly.”
Allmon was the daughter of the late
J.T. Allmon and Katherine Napier.
She leaves her children, Jonathan
Connery of Houston, Texas, Angel Roberts of Carthage and Teresa
Murchie of Carthage, and two grandchildren, Shane Lee Ramsey and Chelsea Roberts
(The Hartsville Vidette,
Dec. 20, 2012)
Billy Joe Austin
Former printer
Billy Joe Austin, Henry County
native and former printer with The
Paris Post-Intelligencer, died Nov. 26 in
Lafayette, Colo. The Broomfield, Colo.
resident was 79.
Born April 7, 1933, he was the son of
the later Rufus and Ethel Irby Austin.
He also worked at The Rocky Mountain News in Denver. He was president
of the Denver Typographical Union
and vice president of the International Typographical Union, helping it
merge with the Communication Workers of America.
He leaves his wife, Helen, and five
children, Kathy Wimberley of Paris,
John Austin of Knoxville, Carolyn
Crouse and Joe Austin, both of Broomfield, and Glenda Slayton of Baton
Rouge, La. He had eight grandchildren.
A grandchild predeceased him.
(The Paris Post-Intelligencer,
Nov. 29, 2012)
Fred L. Chappell
Former circulation manager
BY RIC BOHY
The Daily Herald, Columbia
It’s not the kind
of story you expect
to hear about a man
who worked nearly
six decades as a
newspaper circulation manager.
“Of a night when
I’d make a raid,
Chappell
just me and him, or
checking out a call I
might get, he said, ‘You let me have the
flashlight, and I’ll go first,’” said Maury County Commissioner Jerry Dickey, who in the 1970s was the county
sheriff ’s only drug enforcement agent.
“He said, ‘You have the gun. If they get
me, you get them.’”
That was Fred L. Chappell, Dickey
said of his longtime friend, who died
early (Dec. 20) at age 82 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. Chappell,
who gave countless youths their first
jobs as newspaper carriers, who counseled them and encouraged them and
complimented them on jobs well done,
was hired on as circulation manager
of The Daily Herald, Columbia, in 1949
and served until 2007, a 58-year career
interrupted only by military service.
During that time, he was also an
award-winning writer and photographer, getting news fodder from his
active involvement with law enforcement. That activity earned Chappell
special deputy status from former
Maury County Sheriff Bill Voss.
As word of Chappell’s death spread
through Columbia, Maury County and
beyond, remembrances poured into
the Herald about a man who was much
more than his job.
“He had a remarkable influence
on hundreds of little boys who never would have had a chance in this
world,” Sam D. Kennedy, former Herald publisher, said of Chappell’s work
with newsboys. “He was one of the
great people I’ve ever known.”
Larry Thomas, a retired special
agent for the FBI, met Chappell “soon
after I arrived in Columbia in 1967. He
was a friend of law enforcement and
became a cherished personal friend as
well.
“I never called him with a request
that he did not promptly fulfill,” Thomas continued. “Columbia will miss this
exceptional man.”
Born in Valdosta, Ga., Chappell was
a 1949 graduate of Spring Hill High
School. Later he earned an associate
degree in criminal justice and law
enforcement from Middle Tennessee
State University, a reflection of an
abiding love for the profession and
those who practice it.
Chappell was also a witness to history. On May 25, 1953, while serving in
the U.S. Army during the Korean War
era, he participated in the only firing
of the experimental M65 Atomic Cannon — nicknamed “Atomic Annie” —
at Camp Desert Rock in Nevada. It was
the first and only nuclear shell fired
from a cannon, and Chappell’s friends
and family said the story of that experience was one of his favorites.
He also volunteered with the Ground
Observer Corps, which visually
tracked and reported potential enemy
aircraft in the 1950s, and served in the
1960s and early ’70s as civil defense director for Maury County and the City
of Columbia.
Maury County Property Assessor
Jim Dooley, another longtime friend,
said Chappell was so interested in law
enforcement and worked so often with
officers that several sheriffs asked him
to join them full time.
“He preferred to work behind the
scenes and continue his work at The
Daily Herald,” Dooley said. “Fred took
me under his wing when I was a young
news carrier at about age 12, and he instilled the values in me that helped me
become a good citizen.
“He would do anything to help people,” he continued. “As young people
do, they’d sometimes get in a little trouble and he would always help them. He
was just a fine, fine person who was
truly interested in people and the community. He will really be missed.”
Marcus Albright worked as a newspaper carrier for Chappell for 17 years
before choosing a career — in criminal
justice.
“Fred opened up the door to my career in law enforcement, which has
lasted some 14-plus years and countSEE OBITUARIES, PAGE 5
SPJ coming to state
If you’ve always wanted to attend
the annual national meeting of the Society of Professional Journalists, an
easy chance will come soon. The 2014
Excellence in Journalism Conference
will be held Sept. 4 through 6 in Nashville. Mark your calendar.
FORESIGHT
FROM PAGE 3
AUGUST
25-27: Society of Professional
Journalists Annual Convention, Anaheim, Calif.
SEPTEMBER
12-15: NNA Convention & Trade
Show, Phoenix, Ariz.
The Tennessee Press
FEBRUARY 2013
9
Public notices make citizens the ‘watchdog’
More than 450 local governments owe their and put them on local government webThose sentiments are understandable
existence to the Tennessee General Assembly, sites.
given a recent national survey by the
which through the years has required officials to
Reynolds Journalism Institute at the
Some have pushed to eliminate certain
disclose certain information and ensure that it is notices altogether, and moving them exUniversity of Missouri. It found that
communicated to the general public.
80 percent of respondents said they had
clusively to government websites effecThat communication is in the form of public tively could end some notices or make
never visited a local government webnotice like what the First U.S. Congress ordered them less timely.
site. The latest research by Connected
in 1789. One of the first bills passed required that
Tennessee, a broadband expansion
There have been proposals to end cerall bills, orders, resolutions and congressional tain election notices and to allow local
group, found that 71 percent of housevotes be published in three different newspapers governments to give notice of competiholds here had never “interacted” with
PUBLIC
– independent, not publications created by the tive bids on their website. The Tennesa local government website.
government.
The Public Notice Resource Center in
see Department of Transportation is POLICY
Those notices are designed to make govern- expected to ask the legislature this year
Arlington, Va. said putting notices on
ment and officials who run it more accountable to remove the public notice advertising OUTLOOK government websites “removes any infor their actions. Sometimes the notices deal with requirement on highway projects. If ap- Frank Gibson dependent proof of publication.”
actions already taken – a decision to appropriate proved by the legislature, that would set
“An independent and neutral third
dollars to non-profits or other private entities, for a precedent and lead to an avalanche of similar party that has an economic and civic interest in
example.
proposals from other government ensuring the notice is delivered and that the law
Other notices deal with upis followed” is the best safeguard for public noentities.
coming matters – requests for (T)he perception and
Some officials argue that mov- tice, PNRC noted.
competitive bids to get the low- premise that Americans
Proponents of the change argue that newspaing notices to government webest and best bids, announce- are leaving newspapers
sites will save money – despite the per readership has declined because more Amerments of public hearings on is false.
fact that, at last count, fully one icans are getting their news from the Internet.
budgets, proposed tax hikes,
Recent newspaper readership surveys by the
third of the 455 local governments
and zoning changes that might
do not have websites. In specific national Scarborough Research USA suggest the
allow an undesirable activity
counties where it has been pro- perception and premise that Americans are leavdown the street from your house. The state’s Sun- posed, the savings would be a tiny fraction of 1 ing newspapers is false. They found that 68 pershine Law requires that all governing bodies pro- percent of the city’s budget. Official estimates of cent of U.S. adults read a printed newspaper, an
vide “adequate public notice” of its meetings.
the cost to start websites for the 167 governments electronic edition of the paper or a newspaper
The legislature mandated the notices because without sites last year exceeded $10 million.
website within the last week.
it recognized the public’s need and right to know
When Scarborough Research broke down the
Public opinion surveys in some states show
about such things. At their core, notices let citi- that as many as four out of five people believe it readership numbers by demographic it found:
zens serve as watchdogs for official fraud and is a worthwhile use of public dollars to publish 58% of 18 to 34-year-olds read a printed newspagovernment incompetence. In one recent exam- notices in newspapers because of their indepen- per, e-edition, or the newspaper’s website in the
ple, a local county official hired his brother to do dence.
last week. That compared to 72 percent of those
construction work without getting bids or giving
A 2012 survey in Arkansas found two-thirds over age 35 and 76% of people over age 55.
notice the business was available.
That shows that people who might be migratof respondents said their “preferred” method
Public notice requirements have come under of receiving public notices is via newspapers; ing from print newspapers are going only as far
attack in the legislature in recent years – and 21 percent said direct mail and only 12 percent as the newspapers’ websites, where a majority
they will again this year. Local governments have picked “online or the Internet.” That has been of Tennessee newspapers already post the pubpushed lawmakers to notices from newspapers reinforced in Oregon and Pennsylvania, too.
FLANAGAN
notices in 1789. The long history of
verifiable publication of notices has
fostered a public trust that does not
extend to government-only posting online. You can call it “the fox guarding
the henhouse syndrome.”
Finally, newspapers have adapted to
21st Century technology and post public notices on their own websites at the
same time they are published. Also, the
Tennessee Press Association has established a searchable statewide website where all public notices are posted
at the same time as they are locally.
This extends the reach of trusted, independent publication exponentially,
well beyond the reach of government
attempting to serve its own needs.
We must try harder
“If in other lands the press and
books and literature of all kinds are
censored, we must redouble our efforts here to keep them free. If in
FRANK GIBSON is the TPA public policy director.
One can reach him in Nashville at (615) 202-2685 or
[email protected]
Diseases outbreak tops 2012 stories in Tennessee
PUBLIC NOTICE WEEK
FROM PAGE 8
notices on government websites to cut
the expense of publishing them and
saying that newspapers are dying and
no longer have the readership they
once had.
Such efforts are ill advised.
First, and foremost, surveys have
shown most people do not and would
not access government websites to
read public notices.
Organizations, including the League
of Women Voters, Common Cause and
AARP, oppose efforts by state and local
governments to post their own public
notices.
Second, newspapers have been publishing public notices since the First
Congress ordered publication of
lic notices that appear in their print editions.
They put them there at no additional cost.
A major concern of citizen and good government groups is that notices be accessible to “all
segments of society,” including the elderly, rural,
economically disadvantaged – people who do not
have computers or regular access to one and lack
the skills to comb through a myriad of government websites. AARP, for example, says that 40
percent of seniors over 50 are not comfortable using a computer.
Issues about the reliability of government websites remain.
One discovery during the controversy over how
the county planning commission handled approval of construction of a Muslim mosque in
Murfreesboro involved the county’s website.
The Rutherford County Regional Planning
Commission had for months posted its meeting agenda on the website. Except this time the
agenda wasn’t posted until a week after the meeting. Mosque opponents complained they had no
notice the matter was on the agenda.
Then there are issues about the adequacy of
public notice period. In Maury County, citizens,
including the local Tea Party president, are having trouble getting meeting notices as early as 48
hours before some meetings, can’t get copies of
agendas until the day of meetings, and reporters
can’t get materials provided county commissioners as background for agenda items.
Public notice problems are bad enough already.
Giving some local government officials exclusive
control over notices will be the same as not giving
notice.
other lands the eternal truths of the
past are threatened by intolerance, we
must provide a safe place for their perpetuation.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Here are the top Tennessee stories of
2012, as selected in voting by subscribers and staff of the Associated Press:
1. An outbreak of fungal meningitis
and other diseases linked to tainted
steroid shots leads to more than 80
cases and a dozen deaths in Tennessee.
(October-December)
2. Pat Summitt, winningest coach in
NCAA basketball, steps down as coach
of the Lady Vols. (April 18)
3. Republicans win a supermajority
in the state Legislature for first time
since Reconstruction. (Nov. 6)
4. Tennessee implements election
changes, including redistricting and
requiring photo identification for voters, while a court allows Shelby County to use library card I.D. for general
election. (January-November)
5. U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais is hit
with election-year revelations from
his 2001 divorce that showed he dated
patients, urged one of them to get
an abortion, prescribed another one
painkillers and consented when his
ex-wife had two abortions. (OctoberNovember)
6. (tie) The triple-digit heat wave
shatters high temperature records
across the state. (June 25-30)
6. (tie) A mosque near Murfreesboro
is allowed to open after opponents
wage a two-year legal battle to stop it.
(Aug. 10)
8. Two West Tennessee sisters, 12year-old Alexandria and 8-year-old
Kyliyah Bain, are recovered alive after
their abductor killed their mother and
sister and himself. (May 10)
9. Tennessee fires football coach Derek Dooley after his third losing season
with the Volunteers (Nov. 18)
10. (tie) The Southern Baptist Convention votes to make the Rev. Fred
Luter Jr. its first African-American
president and to adopt an optional
alternative name, Great Commission
Baptists. (June 20)
10. (tie) Tennessee walking horse
trainer Jackie McConnell and three
others plead guilty after undercover
video shows them soring, beating
horses. (May)
(Posted by Tom Humphrey,
columnist, Dec. 24, 2012,
www.knoxnews.com)
Institute offers free
training to teachers
The Reynolds High School Journalism Institute provides a free, intensive
two-week journalism training program for high school teachers.
Newspapers may want to promote
it with journalism/communications
teachers and their administrators in
area high schools. There is no cost to
the teacher or school.
One of the workshops will be July 1426 at the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia.
For more information and to register, go to http://www.hsj.org/modules/
program_applications/index.cfm.
The Tennessee Press
8
FEBRUARY 2013
PUBLIC NOTICE WEEK
In recent years,
the General Assembly has considered
amending the way
public notices are
handled in Tennessee. This is understandable. The communications world
McElroy
is changing, and
newspapers, where
many public notices historically have
been published, are in transition.
But the assumption that government
could save money and still adequately
notify the public by simply posting
notices on government websites is
flawed.
The idea presupposes that Web postings would be a cheap and easy alternative to newspaper publication. Yet,
many local governments in Tennessee
don’t maintain active websites now.
Bringing Web operations up to speed
and keeping them there across Tennessee would entail large hidden expenses
that legislators seeking to end newspaper notices largely have ignored.
More important, though, is the effectiveness of public notice.
The United States has a long history of requiring the government to
announce its business through newspapers. The first Congress meeting in
New York required that all bills, orders,
resolutions and votes be published in
at least three papers, and when, a few
years later, Tennessee adopted its own
constitution, it required the legislature to publish any amendments proposed by the General Assembly.
In more recent years, lawmakers required notices alerting the public to
meetings, foreclosures, elections, auctions, changes in land use and many
other matters of general concern. This
was done to ensure that due process of
law was carried out and that government was held accountable to the citizenry it represented.
Shifting public notices to government websites would undermine these
goals. Without newspaper publication,
a permanent record of notice is lost,
and putting officials in charge of their
5
OBITUARIES
Newspaper public notices
more effective than
government websites
BY JACK McELROY
Editor, News Sentinel, Knoxville
District 2 director, TPA Board of Directors
The Tennessee Press
FEBRUARY 2013
own methods of notification would
open the door to possible manipulation.
Also, notices on government websites simply don’t reach the public the
way notices in newspaper do.
While many newspapers have seen
their print circulations decline, their
overall audiences have grown in recent years, and they still remain the
pre-eminent medium for conveying
such information to the public. Recent
Newspaper Association of America research showed that 70 percent of U.S.
adults had read a newspaper or a newspaper website in the previous week.
Research by the Tennessee Press Association last year showed that 45 percent of Tennessee households bought
newspapers.
On the other hand, many Tennesseans, especially the elderly, still don’t
have Internet access. ConnectTN
found that only 59 percent of those
over 65 owned a computer, and only 42
percent had access to broadband. A recent American Association of Retired
Persons survey found that only two
out of five people over 50 feel comfortable using the Internet.
Newspapers, furthermore, are a
“push” platform, one that projects information out into the public where it
is noticed even by passive readers. Notices on government websites can be
found only by those who go looking for
them, most likely insiders and special
interests.
None of this is to say that the Internet isn’t a good source of information. For many people nowadays it is
the preferred method, and for them,
professionally maintained newspaper
websites remain a better option than
many government sites, as well.
During this year’s legislative session, the Tennessee Press Association
will be supporting a bill to require all
newspapers that print public notices
to also post them online and to submit
them to a central public notice site
maintained by the TPA.
This will offer the best of both
worlds, assuring that the publication
of notices remains independent, dependable and verifiable while making
the notices available to the greatest
number of citizens possible.
Have questions about the Sunshine Law, Open Meetings Law
or other legal matters of concern to newspapers?
Member newspapers can call Richard L. (Rick) Hollow
on the TPA LEGAL HOTLINE, (865) 769-1715
FROM PAGE 4
ing,” said Albright, a detective at the
Spring Hill Police Department. “He
had a way of molding and shaping you
into doing things to make him proud.
I am not real sure if he ever realized
just how many young lives he touched
over the years.”
Despite many adventures riding with
law enforcement officers over the years,
Chappell was remembered by Maury
County Mayor Jim Bailey as “a very
quiet gentleman, not a boisterous man.
“I first met Fred when I was 11 years
old,” Bailey continued. “I carried
a paper route for The Daily Herald.
We maintained a friendship over the
years, and I always valued him as a
friend and Maury County citizen. I
called Fred from to time about different issues.
“He was a man I trusted,” the mayor
said.
(Dec. 20, 2012)
Bennett
CLAY BENNETT | CHATTANOOGA TIMES FREE PRESS
Public notice is important
part of American system
BY BILL WILLIAMS
Editor emeritus
The Paris Post-Intelligencer
TPA president 1982-83
Democracy
is
not for everybody.
We’ve learned that
in the Middle East,
where
societies
with ancient tribal
roots are shown to
be unprepared for a
government system
Williams
in which the majority rules by public
vote.
Government of the people, by the
people and for the people can work
only if the people are informed. An
electorate that does not know or understand what government is all about
is an invitation to despotism.
A small but important part of the
American system is the public notice:
Announcements required by law to be
published for all to see about the nittygritty of governing – meetings of government bodies, bid openings, court
proceedings, budget making and such.
They’re usually dry, full of technical
details and printed in small type, not
often the kind of thing that gets people
excited. Unless …
Unless the subject is your street,
your business, your tax dollars, In that
case, those dry “legals” can become intensely interesting.
Public notices are a protection for
an informed electorate, a safeguard
against government bodies taking sig-
nificant action without people knowing what’s going on. They’re there for
all to see, and an informed and interested electorate will pay attention.
Law details instances in which public notices are required and describes
what type of notice will suffice. Tennessee law basically requires publication in “a newspaper of general circulation.” Some people want to change
that, saying that government could
save money if other means of distribution are used. The most frequently
mentioned alternative is online distribution, usually by the website of the
government entity.
That suggestion is flawed in several
ways.
For one thing, there are far more people in Tennessee who read newspapers
than who use computers. Displaying
notices only online would shut out a
significant segment of the public.
Also, notices online require the computer user to initiate the action to seek
out the notice online. Newspapers may
be bought for the comics or a crossword puzzle, but there sits the public
notice section, right at hand. Casual
contact is much more likely in print
than online.
Tennessee’s newspapers have banded together to distribute their printed
public notices through a common
website, tnpublicnotice.com, at no additional charge.
The aim is the broadest possible distribution, seeking to keep the people
in the know. And the adage is true:
Knowledge is power.
Public notice
importance can’t
be overstated
BY KENT FLANAGAN
Executive director
Tennessee Coalition
for Open Government, Nashville
The importance
of public notice
cannot be overstated.
With the adoption of Tennessee’s
Sunshine Law in
1974, public notice became the
Flanagan
linchpin that made
certain that every public governing
body would be required to post notice
in advance of all meetings so that its
business and deliberations would be
conducted in full public view.
Many other types of legal notices
ranging from announcements of public sales of private property and foreclosure sales to termination of parental rights also fall under the heading
of public notices or legals.
All of these activities are required to
be posted or published in newspapers
so that citizens in all communities
are informed about the activities of
their city council, county commission,
election commission, public utilities,
courts, law enforcement, recreation
departments and many other public
bodies.
In recent years, however, some local
governments and members of the legislature have advocated posting public
SEE FLANAGAN, PAGE 9
Joan Duffy
Former Appeal reporter
BY KEVIN McKENZIE
As a reporter covering Arkansas for
The Commercial Appeal in 2002, Joan
Duffy wasted no words as she shined
an unflattering light on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
“It was bound to happen,” Duffy
wrote in a story for the opinion section
of The Commercial Appeal during the
last year she worked for a newspaper
she had joined in 1990.
“Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee —
the prince of public relations and the
sultan of spin — has been trumped at
his own game.
“While Huckabee hobnobbed last
week in a duck blind with the governor
of Oklahoma and a member of the U.S.
Supreme Court, 400 shivering disabled
children in pint-size wheelchairs and
mentally handicapped adults gathered
on the state Capitol steps, pressing for
Huckabee to call a special legislative
session to save their Medicaid services.”
Duffy, whose journalism career previously included working for United
Press International in Louisiana and
the Beaumont Enterprise in Texas,
left daily journalism and for 10 years
worked as a senior writer in media relations for the University of Arkansas
at Little Rock Office of Communications.
Her coworkers were informed (Dec.
7) that Duffy died at a Little Rock hospital (the day before) from complications of cancer. She was 61.
“Joan was one of a kind, and I hope
you knew her well enough to trade stories about her ever-constant candor,
wit and chatter about the news of the
day,” Judy Williams, director of com-
munications at UALR, wrote in an
email.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, as well
as journalists who knew her, offered
praise for Duffy in an obituary that appeared (Dec. 7) in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
In Memphis, Scott Hill, a former
editor for The Commercial Appeal who
worked with Duffy, called her a hard
worker and a good writer. And then
there were the stories.
“Her best story was one where she
saw Clinton as governor coming out of
a very small space in the (Arkansas)
Capitol building where official duties
would never have taken him,” Hill
said.
(Dec. 7, 2012)
Jimmy R. Farmer
Was production manager
Jimmy R. Farmer
of Clinton, longtime
production
manager of the
Clinton
CourierNews, died Jan. 2.
He was 79.
He was a member
and deacon of SecFarmer
ond Baptist Church
in Clinton.
He worked for the Courier-News for
more than 40 years and also at one
time was the owner of the Farmer’s
Market in Clinton and the Anderson
County Advertiser.
He enjoyed working in his garden
and maintaining his yard, but his most
enjoyment was spending time with his
family, especially his grandchildren
and great grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his parents,
Roy Fletcher Sr. and Sarah Farmer,
and a great-granddaughter, Destiny
Keathley.
He leaves his wife, Billie Wright
Farmer; three sons, Randall J. Farmer, Alan B. Farmer and Christopher R.
Farmer, all of Clinton; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
(The Courier News, Clinton
Jan. 6, 2013)
Bill Freeland
Father of TPA first lady
William Ray (Bill)
Freeland, former
vocational school
welding instructor
and the father of
Evonne Williams,
died Jan. 8 at his
residence. He was
84. Evonne WilFreeland
liams is business
manager of The
Paris Post-Intelligencer and the wife of
er daughter, Faye Okert of Hendersonville; and six grandchildren.
morning of Dec. 16, according to her
daughter, Frances Thompson. She was
91.
“She was very proud to have a job at
the (Knoxville News) Sentinel,” Frances Thompson said. “She was very
intelligent and articulate, so she loved
having a job that exposed her to the
news of the world. She kept up with
everything throughout her life.”
Thompson was employed part time
by the Sentinel in 1946 while pursuing
a graduate degree at the University of
Tennessee. She joined the newspaper’s
staff full time in 1947 as a copy editor.
After taking time off in 1952 to rear
her daughter, Thompson rejoined the
paper in 1965 and remained until her
retirement in 1987.
“Ruth was the ultimate journalist,”
co-worker Mary Constantine said.
“She went to extreme lengths to make
sure what was in the paper was correct.”
Thompson served as an elder and
Sunday school teacher at Washington
Presbyterian Church.
She served in various capacities with
the Knoxville Women’s Bowling Association and other local bowling organizations. “She loved the sport and
she was a champion bowler,” Frances
Thompson said. “She bowled three
nights a week.”
(Dec. 19, 2012)
TPA President Michael B. Williams.
Freeland’s wife, Juanita Cotton Freeland, survives. They were married
Nov. 5, 1950.
His body was cremated, and a memorial service was held Jan. 9.
Born Oct. 12, 1928, in Paris, he was
a son of the late Otis Henry Freeland
and Lou Nettie Johnson Freeland.
Freeland was a member of East
Wood Church of Christ, where he
was a longtime deacon and Bible class
teacher. He was a welding instructor at
Tennessee vocational schools in Paris
and McKenzie for many years and formerly was a welder at the Milan Arsenal and Nashville Bridge Co.
He was a longtime member of the
Civitan Club, where a scholarship was
named for him to help students attend the former Tennessee Vocational
School (now the Tennessee Technology Center). His wife said he enjoyed
helping people.
He also leaves the daughter and four
grandchildren, Daniel Williams of
Paris, Katie Williams and Matthew
Williams, both of Buchanan, and Feroza Freeland of Memphis.
He was preceded in death by a son,
Dennis Ray Freeland.
(The Paris Post-Intelligencer,
Jan. 9, 2013)
Avery Gene Hensley died Dec. 22 in
Elizabethton, where he resided. He
was 75.
A native of Unicoi County, he was
a son of the late John and Etta Lee
Price Hensley. Mr. Hensley had lived a
number of years in Carter County. He
was a retired printer and had formerly
worked at The Erwin Record.
Hensley was a member of the Pleasant Beach Baptist Church.
Besides his parents, he was preceded
in death by a daughter, Donna Kay
Hensley; two grandchildren; and two
great-grandchildren. He leaves his
wife, Charlotte Berry Hensley; four
daughters, Doris Jean White and Diana Hensley of Rogue River, Ore., Denise Davenport of Johnson City and
Dawn Tipton of Erwin; and 18 grandchildren.
(Elizabethton Star,
Dec. 23, 2012)
Mary Green
Ruth Thompson
Newspaper retiree
Former Sentinel employee
Margaret Sizemore
Mary Frances Green of Gallatin,
who retired from The Tennessean,
Nashville, died Dec. 18. She was 73.
Born May 18, 1939 in Lauderdale
County, she was the daughter of Stanley and Opal Williams Black.
She leaves her husband, Carl; two
sons, Rusty and Tony, and a daughter,
Kay Martin, all of Gallatin, and anoth-
BY STEVEN HARRIS
News Sentinel, Knoxville
Worked at Times-News
Avery G. Hensley
Retired printer
BY STAFF REPORTS
Ruth Anna Russell Thompson of
Corryton enjoyed a long and happy life
working in journalism, going bowling
and spending time with friends and
family.
She died of natural causes early the
Margaret Kitzmiller Sizemore, a
resident of Kingsport, died Dec. 22.
She was 89.
She worked at Eastman Kodak during WWII. After rearing her famSEE OBITUARIES, PAGE 10
REWRITES FROM THE TENNESSEE PRESS
FEBRUARY 1963
The Tennessee Press Service Board
of Directors approved expansion
plans, a major feature being a sales office in Memphis.
The Cleveland Daily Banner used a
16-page tabloid section to invite readers to an open house to see its newly
remodeled building.
TPA named a committee to assist the
National Editorial Association in planning NEA’s meeting set for October in
Memphis. Among the members were
John W. Finney, The Daily Herald, Columbia; Mrs. Raymond (Tina) Hamilton Sr., The Millington Star; John Paul
Jones, The Daily News, Memphis; and
Bill Simonton, The Covington Leader.
John R. Thislewaite, editor and
publisher of the Opelousas, La. Daily
World, told TPAers at the Press Institute that the printing process was of
secondary importance to the main
goal of publishing a good newspaper.
There was record attendance and
record-breaking interest at the Winter
Convention held in January, President
John M. Jones Sr. reported in his column.
MARCH 1988
The Tennessee Press Service had
just completed its fourth consecutive
record-breaking year, according to
TPS President Bob Atkins, publisher
of The News-Examiner, Gallatin.
Don McKay, first publisher of The
Oak Ridger, Oak Ridge, died at 78. He
began serving as publisher in 1948 and
retired in 1967.
Van Pritchartt, former managing
editor of the Memphis Press-Scimitar,
bought the Collierville Herald from
Herman W. Cox, Collierville mayor.
Carl A. Jones was awarded the Laurel Leaves Award from the Appalachian Consortium for his “more than
50 years of helping change the things
that need to be changed in this part
of Appalachia.” He was publisher and
president off the Johnson City Press.
John Seigenthaler, editor, publisher
and president of The Tennessean,
Nashville, and editorial director of
USA Today, had agreed to serve as the
first holder of the Seigenthaler Chair
of First Amendment Studies at Middle
Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro.
Pulaski Publishing Co. donated
$1,000 to New Canaan Rach to assist in
its work with homeless and troubled
people.
A Roper Poll showed that 68 percent
of American adults referred to their
local newspapers for information
about what to watch on television.
The Tennessee Press
6
FEBRUARY 2013
Together we can grow revenue!
BY BETH ELLIOTT
Networks advertising manager
Tennessee Press
Service (TPS) is
off to the races
this year. David
Wells, advertising
director, and I had
the opportunity to
meet with a couple
of Tennessee Press
Elliott
Association member
newspapers
about collaborating to grow revenue.
David discussed the benefits of being members of TPA and the services
provided by TPS. TPS provides advertising placement for both print and
online, a Clipping Bureau and press
release distribution. All are offered in
order to drive revenue to TPA member
newspapers. TPS is here for you, providing advertisers who need to reach
multi-markets the convenience of one
point of contact through the advertising placement.
Before I delve into the advertising
networks, the Clipping Bureau is a service of which you may not be aware.
The readers scour every page, every
paragraph and every sentence of TPA
members newspapers for mentions of
the search terms provided by customers. Pretty amazing! When an article
is found that meets the criteria, it is
clipped, labeled and sent to the customer via email or U.S. mail. Your
newspaper is being read by countless
people around the country!
The press release distribution service is invaluable, especially to those
folks who don’t have the time to look
up every email address for every TPA
member publisher and editor. If your
local client has a press release he or
she wants to send statewide, please
contact TPS. We can do that for your
client, making you the hero.
The advertising networks are your
networks, operated by TPS on behalf of
the TPA membership. Newspapers that
participate can make a lot of money by
selling ads into the networks. Your local client that needs multi-market exposure can get that through you, their
local sales rep. TPS offers three different networks: TnDAN – small display
print ads; TnNET – online banner ads;
and TnSCAN – classified print ads.
TnDAN is a network of 96 TPA member newspapers that run small display
print ads, 2x2, 2x4 and 2x6. Not only
can your local client place in your
newspaper, but he or she can expand
reach through you. Sales reps can offer
regional, statewide or multi-state coverage for easy to understand rates.
TnNET is in a group of 48 TPA newspaper websites that run medium-rectangle sized ads anywhere on their websites. TnNET provides advertisers an
easy solution for online ad campaigns.
Your local client can spread the word
about a sale or an event across the
state through you.
TnSCAN consists of 97 TPA members that run classified line ads in
their print editions. TnSCAN is popular with auctions, trucking companies
looking to hire drivers, companies that
need to fill a specialized position or
anyone wanting to buy or sell something to a large market.
If your newspaper already participates in the networks and you want to
take full advantage of them, contact
David or me for a collaboration session, (865) 584-5761 x108 for David or
x117 for Beth.
TPS is here for you. This is going to
be a great year!
The Tennessee Press
FEBRUARY 2013
7
PUBLIC NOTICE WEEK
Public notices protect the people’s rights
BY HENRY A. STOKES
Germantown
2006-07 TPA president
DAVID WELLS | TPS
Beth Elliott, Networks advertising manager, and David Wells, TPS advertising director, recently made presentations at two TPA member newspapers. Above, on Jan. 9, Elliott speaks to advertising staff members of The
Knoxville Journal about TnDAN, TnNET and TnSCAN. Below, David Wells on Jan. 11 speaks on display advertising to ad staff members at the Citizen Tribune, Morristown.
The essence of
your freedom is
that in America,
very little government happens by
decree. Most every
action is open to
democratic debate.
Question is: Will
Stokes
that debate occur
before or after a decision is made?
On big issues – like, who will be mayor or governor – you have the right as
a citizen to vote before an election or
issue is decided.
On many other issues, you can’t influence a decision unless you find out
about it beforehand.
That’s where public notices protect
your rights.
Since the early days of our democracy, all sorts of official alerts of public doings and legal actions have been
published in newspapers that circulate
among citizens in every community.
Public notices protect you from any
number of things happening without
first giving you a chance to influence
them. Some examples:
•Your county is about to raise the
property tax rate.
•Someone wants a zoning exception
to build an apartment complex, a gas
station, a bar or perhaps an adult book
store in your neighborhood.
•The tax collector is about to sell a
tax lien on your property.
•A bank wants to foreclose on a house
near you.
•A proposed ordinance would prevent you from leaving your car at the
curb overnight.
•The school board will ask for bids
on new computers – or sell off its surplus typewriters. You might want to
sell or buy.
These are but a few examples. With
some exceptions (tax rates, for instance), most public notices involve
specific actions that affect relatively
few people or small areas. Even in
today’s world of digitally targeted
audiences, it is difficult to give every
interested person an opportunity to respond to public notices without mass
distribution by a reliable medium.
Traditionally and effectively, that has
meant timely publication in established newspapers.
In most cases, these notices are
simply a fair and practical means of
spreading information. But they also
protect us all from secret government
and quietly-done favors by fiat. Public
notices provide a visible step in public
process. Their publication creates a
trail of proof that even rarely noticed
actions have occurred in public view.
Now we find this protective and
useful tradition under attack. Some
state legislators and local officials are
proposing changes that may be wellmeaning. They sound technologically
smart and economical for taxpayers –
but are neither.
Yes, government websites can post
public notices. But how often do people
go looking there? And how much does
it cost to hire a government employee
or a contracted service to post notices,
certify their publication and provide
copies when requested for proof or legal purposes?
It is the business of newspapers to
serve mass, local audiences. If you’ve
accepted the fading notion that newspapers are dying, you’ve missed a
great revival. Still the number one collector of contemporary news and information, our newspapers dominate
the Internet as well as newsstands
and driveways. The same public notices that appear within their printed
pages can be seen on newspaper websites. The rich and diverse content of
newspapers is pouring onto computer
screens, wireless devices and smart
phones.
Where newspaper content goes, public notices go as well. This is a time
when newspapers are expanding their
reach, making public notices more visible to more people than ever.
If you believe with us that public notices sustain democracy, this is not the
time to hide them.
Why we fight limits on public notices
BY TED RAYBURN
Editorial page editor
The Tennessean, Nashville
BETH ELLIOTT | TPS
Tennessee Press Service
Advertising Placement Snapshot
ROP:
Network:
December 2012:
$463,540
$64,087
Year* as of Dec. 31:
$463,540
$64,087
*The Tennessee Press Service Inc. fiscal year runs Dec. 1 through Nov. 30.
Shopping local
– old idea redone
Whatever happened to the shop-athome promotions that newspapers
once conducted on behalf of their advertisers? Have nearby big-box stores’
advertising been changing all that?
Well, read about how one newspaper
successfully emphasized the local in
an article by Sean Ireland in the Jan. 3
SNPA eBulletin: http://snpainfo.org/
eBulletin/01.03.13.htm.
With the legislature
dramatically reducing the
number of bills
members can file
this year, it will be
easier than usual
to make a list of the
bad bills of recent
years that should
Rayburn
not be resurrected
during the 108th General Assembly.
Making the wearing of motorcycle
helmets optional would be on that list.
So should bills that propose to change
or eliminate public notices.
Each of the past three years, local
and state officials have pushed legislators to introduce bills that would end
the requirement that government notices be advertised in Tennessee newspapers. Just as with the helmetless
motorcycle bill, this legislation, if it
re-emerges this year, could be bad for
you.
Notices of public hearings, environmental permit requests and other
matters have been required to be published for many years, and not because
it might profit newspaper companies.
Newspapers are by far the best way to
reach the most people in Tennessee on
government matters on which they
have the right to be informed.
The substitute that backers of the
legislation offer – posting notices only
on a myriad of state and local government websites – is woefully inadequate
to the task of reaching the population.
How many Tennesseans have access
to or use those websites? It probably
is nowhere near the 45 percent of the
households that see public notices in
the state’s newspapers.
The often-stated reason for the legislation is that it will save the government money. That reason becomes less
and less plausible because many of
the state’s newspapers have websites
where public notices appear now at no
charge. And the newspaper websites,
too, have a readership audience, and
attraction and convenience that a government website cannot match.
When it really comes down to it, it
seems that some individuals in state
and local government have a sheer disregard for the public’s right to know
about what the government is up to.
Some are always looking for ways to
block the sunshine and mute public
opinion.
This is why, every year, the Tennessee Press Association and its member
newspapers observe Public Notice
Week. This year, it is Jan. 20-26. It is
the perfect time for Tennesseans to
ponder whether they truly have the
kind of transparency in government
they want and is required by law.
It’s also a good time to consider
whether those we have elected have
the public welfare at heart. If they support legislation that would limit your
right to know, that’s a red flag.
The bard says
“Truth loves open dealing.”
Public Notice Week editorials,
ads and other materials published
by TPA member newspapers in
January 2012 during the second
observance. The figures: Fortyseven newspapers participated
in 2012; 2013 goal, 122. Newspaper publishing the most ads for
Public Notice Week in 2012: Citizen Tribune, Morristown, with 10. Newspaper devoting the most column
inches to Public Notice Week in 2012: Johnson City Press, 636. Most of
the materials in the Public Notice Week kit are appropriate, some perhaps
with a little editing, for use at any time, and TPA encourages members to
continue to use them whenever they can. One can find these materials at
www.tnpress.com/publicnoticeweek.html.
I VOTE and PAY my taxes.
I CARE about my community.
I WANT to know what’s
happening in my town
and neighborhood.
Some state and local officials want to remove public notices
from our community newspapers and put them exclusively
on the Internet.
I’m telling my state legislator:
”NO! It’s my RIGHT to KNOW.
Leave public notices in MY local newspaper!”
William Shakespeare
English playwright, poet, 1613
TENNESSEE PRESS ASSOCIATION – Learn why public notices should stay public in TN: tnpublicnotice.com
The Tennessee Press
6
FEBRUARY 2013
Together we can grow revenue!
BY BETH ELLIOTT
Networks advertising manager
Tennessee Press
Service (TPS) is
off to the races
this year. David
Wells, advertising
director, and I had
the opportunity to
meet with a couple
of Tennessee Press
Elliott
Association member
newspapers
about collaborating to grow revenue.
David discussed the benefits of being members of TPA and the services
provided by TPS. TPS provides advertising placement for both print and
online, a Clipping Bureau and press
release distribution. All are offered in
order to drive revenue to TPA member
newspapers. TPS is here for you, providing advertisers who need to reach
multi-markets the convenience of one
point of contact through the advertising placement.
Before I delve into the advertising
networks, the Clipping Bureau is a service of which you may not be aware.
The readers scour every page, every
paragraph and every sentence of TPA
members newspapers for mentions of
the search terms provided by customers. Pretty amazing! When an article
is found that meets the criteria, it is
clipped, labeled and sent to the customer via email or U.S. mail. Your
newspaper is being read by countless
people around the country!
The press release distribution service is invaluable, especially to those
folks who don’t have the time to look
up every email address for every TPA
member publisher and editor. If your
local client has a press release he or
she wants to send statewide, please
contact TPS. We can do that for your
client, making you the hero.
The advertising networks are your
networks, operated by TPS on behalf of
the TPA membership. Newspapers that
participate can make a lot of money by
selling ads into the networks. Your local client that needs multi-market exposure can get that through you, their
local sales rep. TPS offers three different networks: TnDAN – small display
print ads; TnNET – online banner ads;
and TnSCAN – classified print ads.
TnDAN is a network of 96 TPA member newspapers that run small display
print ads, 2x2, 2x4 and 2x6. Not only
can your local client place in your
newspaper, but he or she can expand
reach through you. Sales reps can offer
regional, statewide or multi-state coverage for easy to understand rates.
TnNET is in a group of 48 TPA newspaper websites that run medium-rectangle sized ads anywhere on their websites. TnNET provides advertisers an
easy solution for online ad campaigns.
Your local client can spread the word
about a sale or an event across the
state through you.
TnSCAN consists of 97 TPA members that run classified line ads in
their print editions. TnSCAN is popular with auctions, trucking companies
looking to hire drivers, companies that
need to fill a specialized position or
anyone wanting to buy or sell something to a large market.
If your newspaper already participates in the networks and you want to
take full advantage of them, contact
David or me for a collaboration session, (865) 584-5761 x108 for David or
x117 for Beth.
TPS is here for you. This is going to
be a great year!
The Tennessee Press
FEBRUARY 2013
7
PUBLIC NOTICE WEEK
Public notices protect the people’s rights
BY HENRY A. STOKES
Germantown
2006-07 TPA president
DAVID WELLS | TPS
Beth Elliott, Networks advertising manager, and David Wells, TPS advertising director, recently made presentations at two TPA member newspapers. Above, on Jan. 9, Elliott speaks to advertising staff members of The
Knoxville Journal about TnDAN, TnNET and TnSCAN. Below, David Wells on Jan. 11 speaks on display advertising to ad staff members at the Citizen Tribune, Morristown.
The essence of
your freedom is
that in America,
very little government happens by
decree. Most every
action is open to
democratic debate.
Question is: Will
Stokes
that debate occur
before or after a decision is made?
On big issues – like, who will be mayor or governor – you have the right as
a citizen to vote before an election or
issue is decided.
On many other issues, you can’t influence a decision unless you find out
about it beforehand.
That’s where public notices protect
your rights.
Since the early days of our democracy, all sorts of official alerts of public doings and legal actions have been
published in newspapers that circulate
among citizens in every community.
Public notices protect you from any
number of things happening without
first giving you a chance to influence
them. Some examples:
•Your county is about to raise the
property tax rate.
•Someone wants a zoning exception
to build an apartment complex, a gas
station, a bar or perhaps an adult book
store in your neighborhood.
•The tax collector is about to sell a
tax lien on your property.
•A bank wants to foreclose on a house
near you.
•A proposed ordinance would prevent you from leaving your car at the
curb overnight.
•The school board will ask for bids
on new computers – or sell off its surplus typewriters. You might want to
sell or buy.
These are but a few examples. With
some exceptions (tax rates, for instance), most public notices involve
specific actions that affect relatively
few people or small areas. Even in
today’s world of digitally targeted
audiences, it is difficult to give every
interested person an opportunity to respond to public notices without mass
distribution by a reliable medium.
Traditionally and effectively, that has
meant timely publication in established newspapers.
In most cases, these notices are
simply a fair and practical means of
spreading information. But they also
protect us all from secret government
and quietly-done favors by fiat. Public
notices provide a visible step in public
process. Their publication creates a
trail of proof that even rarely noticed
actions have occurred in public view.
Now we find this protective and
useful tradition under attack. Some
state legislators and local officials are
proposing changes that may be wellmeaning. They sound technologically
smart and economical for taxpayers –
but are neither.
Yes, government websites can post
public notices. But how often do people
go looking there? And how much does
it cost to hire a government employee
or a contracted service to post notices,
certify their publication and provide
copies when requested for proof or legal purposes?
It is the business of newspapers to
serve mass, local audiences. If you’ve
accepted the fading notion that newspapers are dying, you’ve missed a
great revival. Still the number one collector of contemporary news and information, our newspapers dominate
the Internet as well as newsstands
and driveways. The same public notices that appear within their printed
pages can be seen on newspaper websites. The rich and diverse content of
newspapers is pouring onto computer
screens, wireless devices and smart
phones.
Where newspaper content goes, public notices go as well. This is a time
when newspapers are expanding their
reach, making public notices more visible to more people than ever.
If you believe with us that public notices sustain democracy, this is not the
time to hide them.
Why we fight limits on public notices
BY TED RAYBURN
Editorial page editor
The Tennessean, Nashville
BETH ELLIOTT | TPS
Tennessee Press Service
Advertising Placement Snapshot
ROP:
Network:
December 2012:
$463,540
$64,087
Year* as of Dec. 31:
$463,540
$64,087
*The Tennessee Press Service Inc. fiscal year runs Dec. 1 through Nov. 30.
Shopping local
– old idea redone
Whatever happened to the shop-athome promotions that newspapers
once conducted on behalf of their advertisers? Have nearby big-box stores’
advertising been changing all that?
Well, read about how one newspaper
successfully emphasized the local in
an article by Sean Ireland in the Jan. 3
SNPA eBulletin: http://snpainfo.org/
eBulletin/01.03.13.htm.
With the legislature
dramatically reducing the
number of bills
members can file
this year, it will be
easier than usual
to make a list of the
bad bills of recent
years that should
Rayburn
not be resurrected
during the 108th General Assembly.
Making the wearing of motorcycle
helmets optional would be on that list.
So should bills that propose to change
or eliminate public notices.
Each of the past three years, local
and state officials have pushed legislators to introduce bills that would end
the requirement that government notices be advertised in Tennessee newspapers. Just as with the helmetless
motorcycle bill, this legislation, if it
re-emerges this year, could be bad for
you.
Notices of public hearings, environmental permit requests and other
matters have been required to be published for many years, and not because
it might profit newspaper companies.
Newspapers are by far the best way to
reach the most people in Tennessee on
government matters on which they
have the right to be informed.
The substitute that backers of the
legislation offer – posting notices only
on a myriad of state and local government websites – is woefully inadequate
to the task of reaching the population.
How many Tennesseans have access
to or use those websites? It probably
is nowhere near the 45 percent of the
households that see public notices in
the state’s newspapers.
The often-stated reason for the legislation is that it will save the government money. That reason becomes less
and less plausible because many of
the state’s newspapers have websites
where public notices appear now at no
charge. And the newspaper websites,
too, have a readership audience, and
attraction and convenience that a government website cannot match.
When it really comes down to it, it
seems that some individuals in state
and local government have a sheer disregard for the public’s right to know
about what the government is up to.
Some are always looking for ways to
block the sunshine and mute public
opinion.
This is why, every year, the Tennessee Press Association and its member
newspapers observe Public Notice
Week. This year, it is Jan. 20-26. It is
the perfect time for Tennesseans to
ponder whether they truly have the
kind of transparency in government
they want and is required by law.
It’s also a good time to consider
whether those we have elected have
the public welfare at heart. If they support legislation that would limit your
right to know, that’s a red flag.
The bard says
“Truth loves open dealing.”
Public Notice Week editorials,
ads and other materials published
by TPA member newspapers in
January 2012 during the second
observance. The figures: Fortyseven newspapers participated
in 2012; 2013 goal, 122. Newspaper publishing the most ads for
Public Notice Week in 2012: Citizen Tribune, Morristown, with 10. Newspaper devoting the most column
inches to Public Notice Week in 2012: Johnson City Press, 636. Most of
the materials in the Public Notice Week kit are appropriate, some perhaps
with a little editing, for use at any time, and TPA encourages members to
continue to use them whenever they can. One can find these materials at
www.tnpress.com/publicnoticeweek.html.
I VOTE and PAY my taxes.
I CARE about my community.
I WANT to know what’s
happening in my town
and neighborhood.
Some state and local officials want to remove public notices
from our community newspapers and put them exclusively
on the Internet.
I’m telling my state legislator:
”NO! It’s my RIGHT to KNOW.
Leave public notices in MY local newspaper!”
William Shakespeare
English playwright, poet, 1613
TENNESSEE PRESS ASSOCIATION – Learn why public notices should stay public in TN: tnpublicnotice.com
The Tennessee Press
8
FEBRUARY 2013
PUBLIC NOTICE WEEK
In recent years,
the General Assembly has considered
amending the way
public notices are
handled in Tennessee. This is understandable. The communications world
McElroy
is changing, and
newspapers, where
many public notices historically have
been published, are in transition.
But the assumption that government
could save money and still adequately
notify the public by simply posting
notices on government websites is
flawed.
The idea presupposes that Web postings would be a cheap and easy alternative to newspaper publication. Yet,
many local governments in Tennessee
don’t maintain active websites now.
Bringing Web operations up to speed
and keeping them there across Tennessee would entail large hidden expenses
that legislators seeking to end newspaper notices largely have ignored.
More important, though, is the effectiveness of public notice.
The United States has a long history of requiring the government to
announce its business through newspapers. The first Congress meeting in
New York required that all bills, orders,
resolutions and votes be published in
at least three papers, and when, a few
years later, Tennessee adopted its own
constitution, it required the legislature to publish any amendments proposed by the General Assembly.
In more recent years, lawmakers required notices alerting the public to
meetings, foreclosures, elections, auctions, changes in land use and many
other matters of general concern. This
was done to ensure that due process of
law was carried out and that government was held accountable to the citizenry it represented.
Shifting public notices to government websites would undermine these
goals. Without newspaper publication,
a permanent record of notice is lost,
and putting officials in charge of their
5
OBITUARIES
Newspaper public notices
more effective than
government websites
BY JACK McELROY
Editor, News Sentinel, Knoxville
District 2 director, TPA Board of Directors
The Tennessee Press
FEBRUARY 2013
own methods of notification would
open the door to possible manipulation.
Also, notices on government websites simply don’t reach the public the
way notices in newspaper do.
While many newspapers have seen
their print circulations decline, their
overall audiences have grown in recent years, and they still remain the
pre-eminent medium for conveying
such information to the public. Recent
Newspaper Association of America research showed that 70 percent of U.S.
adults had read a newspaper or a newspaper website in the previous week.
Research by the Tennessee Press Association last year showed that 45 percent of Tennessee households bought
newspapers.
On the other hand, many Tennesseans, especially the elderly, still don’t
have Internet access. ConnectTN
found that only 59 percent of those
over 65 owned a computer, and only 42
percent had access to broadband. A recent American Association of Retired
Persons survey found that only two
out of five people over 50 feel comfortable using the Internet.
Newspapers, furthermore, are a
“push” platform, one that projects information out into the public where it
is noticed even by passive readers. Notices on government websites can be
found only by those who go looking for
them, most likely insiders and special
interests.
None of this is to say that the Internet isn’t a good source of information. For many people nowadays it is
the preferred method, and for them,
professionally maintained newspaper
websites remain a better option than
many government sites, as well.
During this year’s legislative session, the Tennessee Press Association
will be supporting a bill to require all
newspapers that print public notices
to also post them online and to submit
them to a central public notice site
maintained by the TPA.
This will offer the best of both
worlds, assuring that the publication
of notices remains independent, dependable and verifiable while making
the notices available to the greatest
number of citizens possible.
Have questions about the Sunshine Law, Open Meetings Law
or other legal matters of concern to newspapers?
Member newspapers can call Richard L. (Rick) Hollow
on the TPA LEGAL HOTLINE, (865) 769-1715
FROM PAGE 4
ing,” said Albright, a detective at the
Spring Hill Police Department. “He
had a way of molding and shaping you
into doing things to make him proud.
I am not real sure if he ever realized
just how many young lives he touched
over the years.”
Despite many adventures riding with
law enforcement officers over the years,
Chappell was remembered by Maury
County Mayor Jim Bailey as “a very
quiet gentleman, not a boisterous man.
“I first met Fred when I was 11 years
old,” Bailey continued. “I carried
a paper route for The Daily Herald.
We maintained a friendship over the
years, and I always valued him as a
friend and Maury County citizen. I
called Fred from to time about different issues.
“He was a man I trusted,” the mayor
said.
(Dec. 20, 2012)
Bennett
CLAY BENNETT | CHATTANOOGA TIMES FREE PRESS
Public notice is important
part of American system
BY BILL WILLIAMS
Editor emeritus
The Paris Post-Intelligencer
TPA president 1982-83
Democracy
is
not for everybody.
We’ve learned that
in the Middle East,
where
societies
with ancient tribal
roots are shown to
be unprepared for a
government system
Williams
in which the majority rules by public
vote.
Government of the people, by the
people and for the people can work
only if the people are informed. An
electorate that does not know or understand what government is all about
is an invitation to despotism.
A small but important part of the
American system is the public notice:
Announcements required by law to be
published for all to see about the nittygritty of governing – meetings of government bodies, bid openings, court
proceedings, budget making and such.
They’re usually dry, full of technical
details and printed in small type, not
often the kind of thing that gets people
excited. Unless …
Unless the subject is your street,
your business, your tax dollars, In that
case, those dry “legals” can become intensely interesting.
Public notices are a protection for
an informed electorate, a safeguard
against government bodies taking sig-
nificant action without people knowing what’s going on. They’re there for
all to see, and an informed and interested electorate will pay attention.
Law details instances in which public notices are required and describes
what type of notice will suffice. Tennessee law basically requires publication in “a newspaper of general circulation.” Some people want to change
that, saying that government could
save money if other means of distribution are used. The most frequently
mentioned alternative is online distribution, usually by the website of the
government entity.
That suggestion is flawed in several
ways.
For one thing, there are far more people in Tennessee who read newspapers
than who use computers. Displaying
notices only online would shut out a
significant segment of the public.
Also, notices online require the computer user to initiate the action to seek
out the notice online. Newspapers may
be bought for the comics or a crossword puzzle, but there sits the public
notice section, right at hand. Casual
contact is much more likely in print
than online.
Tennessee’s newspapers have banded together to distribute their printed
public notices through a common
website, tnpublicnotice.com, at no additional charge.
The aim is the broadest possible distribution, seeking to keep the people
in the know. And the adage is true:
Knowledge is power.
Public notice
importance can’t
be overstated
BY KENT FLANAGAN
Executive director
Tennessee Coalition
for Open Government, Nashville
The importance
of public notice
cannot be overstated.
With the adoption of Tennessee’s
Sunshine Law in
1974, public notice became the
Flanagan
linchpin that made
certain that every public governing
body would be required to post notice
in advance of all meetings so that its
business and deliberations would be
conducted in full public view.
Many other types of legal notices
ranging from announcements of public sales of private property and foreclosure sales to termination of parental rights also fall under the heading
of public notices or legals.
All of these activities are required to
be posted or published in newspapers
so that citizens in all communities
are informed about the activities of
their city council, county commission,
election commission, public utilities,
courts, law enforcement, recreation
departments and many other public
bodies.
In recent years, however, some local
governments and members of the legislature have advocated posting public
SEE FLANAGAN, PAGE 9
Joan Duffy
Former Appeal reporter
BY KEVIN McKENZIE
As a reporter covering Arkansas for
The Commercial Appeal in 2002, Joan
Duffy wasted no words as she shined
an unflattering light on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
“It was bound to happen,” Duffy
wrote in a story for the opinion section
of The Commercial Appeal during the
last year she worked for a newspaper
she had joined in 1990.
“Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee —
the prince of public relations and the
sultan of spin — has been trumped at
his own game.
“While Huckabee hobnobbed last
week in a duck blind with the governor
of Oklahoma and a member of the U.S.
Supreme Court, 400 shivering disabled
children in pint-size wheelchairs and
mentally handicapped adults gathered
on the state Capitol steps, pressing for
Huckabee to call a special legislative
session to save their Medicaid services.”
Duffy, whose journalism career previously included working for United
Press International in Louisiana and
the Beaumont Enterprise in Texas,
left daily journalism and for 10 years
worked as a senior writer in media relations for the University of Arkansas
at Little Rock Office of Communications.
Her coworkers were informed (Dec.
7) that Duffy died at a Little Rock hospital (the day before) from complications of cancer. She was 61.
“Joan was one of a kind, and I hope
you knew her well enough to trade stories about her ever-constant candor,
wit and chatter about the news of the
day,” Judy Williams, director of com-
munications at UALR, wrote in an
email.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, as well
as journalists who knew her, offered
praise for Duffy in an obituary that appeared (Dec. 7) in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
In Memphis, Scott Hill, a former
editor for The Commercial Appeal who
worked with Duffy, called her a hard
worker and a good writer. And then
there were the stories.
“Her best story was one where she
saw Clinton as governor coming out of
a very small space in the (Arkansas)
Capitol building where official duties
would never have taken him,” Hill
said.
(Dec. 7, 2012)
Jimmy R. Farmer
Was production manager
Jimmy R. Farmer
of Clinton, longtime
production
manager of the
Clinton
CourierNews, died Jan. 2.
He was 79.
He was a member
and deacon of SecFarmer
ond Baptist Church
in Clinton.
He worked for the Courier-News for
more than 40 years and also at one
time was the owner of the Farmer’s
Market in Clinton and the Anderson
County Advertiser.
He enjoyed working in his garden
and maintaining his yard, but his most
enjoyment was spending time with his
family, especially his grandchildren
and great grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his parents,
Roy Fletcher Sr. and Sarah Farmer,
and a great-granddaughter, Destiny
Keathley.
He leaves his wife, Billie Wright
Farmer; three sons, Randall J. Farmer, Alan B. Farmer and Christopher R.
Farmer, all of Clinton; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
(The Courier News, Clinton
Jan. 6, 2013)
Bill Freeland
Father of TPA first lady
William Ray (Bill)
Freeland, former
vocational school
welding instructor
and the father of
Evonne Williams,
died Jan. 8 at his
residence. He was
84. Evonne WilFreeland
liams is business
manager of The
Paris Post-Intelligencer and the wife of
er daughter, Faye Okert of Hendersonville; and six grandchildren.
morning of Dec. 16, according to her
daughter, Frances Thompson. She was
91.
“She was very proud to have a job at
the (Knoxville News) Sentinel,” Frances Thompson said. “She was very
intelligent and articulate, so she loved
having a job that exposed her to the
news of the world. She kept up with
everything throughout her life.”
Thompson was employed part time
by the Sentinel in 1946 while pursuing
a graduate degree at the University of
Tennessee. She joined the newspaper’s
staff full time in 1947 as a copy editor.
After taking time off in 1952 to rear
her daughter, Thompson rejoined the
paper in 1965 and remained until her
retirement in 1987.
“Ruth was the ultimate journalist,”
co-worker Mary Constantine said.
“She went to extreme lengths to make
sure what was in the paper was correct.”
Thompson served as an elder and
Sunday school teacher at Washington
Presbyterian Church.
She served in various capacities with
the Knoxville Women’s Bowling Association and other local bowling organizations. “She loved the sport and
she was a champion bowler,” Frances
Thompson said. “She bowled three
nights a week.”
(Dec. 19, 2012)
TPA President Michael B. Williams.
Freeland’s wife, Juanita Cotton Freeland, survives. They were married
Nov. 5, 1950.
His body was cremated, and a memorial service was held Jan. 9.
Born Oct. 12, 1928, in Paris, he was
a son of the late Otis Henry Freeland
and Lou Nettie Johnson Freeland.
Freeland was a member of East
Wood Church of Christ, where he
was a longtime deacon and Bible class
teacher. He was a welding instructor at
Tennessee vocational schools in Paris
and McKenzie for many years and formerly was a welder at the Milan Arsenal and Nashville Bridge Co.
He was a longtime member of the
Civitan Club, where a scholarship was
named for him to help students attend the former Tennessee Vocational
School (now the Tennessee Technology Center). His wife said he enjoyed
helping people.
He also leaves the daughter and four
grandchildren, Daniel Williams of
Paris, Katie Williams and Matthew
Williams, both of Buchanan, and Feroza Freeland of Memphis.
He was preceded in death by a son,
Dennis Ray Freeland.
(The Paris Post-Intelligencer,
Jan. 9, 2013)
Avery Gene Hensley died Dec. 22 in
Elizabethton, where he resided. He
was 75.
A native of Unicoi County, he was
a son of the late John and Etta Lee
Price Hensley. Mr. Hensley had lived a
number of years in Carter County. He
was a retired printer and had formerly
worked at The Erwin Record.
Hensley was a member of the Pleasant Beach Baptist Church.
Besides his parents, he was preceded
in death by a daughter, Donna Kay
Hensley; two grandchildren; and two
great-grandchildren. He leaves his
wife, Charlotte Berry Hensley; four
daughters, Doris Jean White and Diana Hensley of Rogue River, Ore., Denise Davenport of Johnson City and
Dawn Tipton of Erwin; and 18 grandchildren.
(Elizabethton Star,
Dec. 23, 2012)
Mary Green
Ruth Thompson
Newspaper retiree
Former Sentinel employee
Margaret Sizemore
Mary Frances Green of Gallatin,
who retired from The Tennessean,
Nashville, died Dec. 18. She was 73.
Born May 18, 1939 in Lauderdale
County, she was the daughter of Stanley and Opal Williams Black.
She leaves her husband, Carl; two
sons, Rusty and Tony, and a daughter,
Kay Martin, all of Gallatin, and anoth-
BY STEVEN HARRIS
News Sentinel, Knoxville
Worked at Times-News
Avery G. Hensley
Retired printer
BY STAFF REPORTS
Ruth Anna Russell Thompson of
Corryton enjoyed a long and happy life
working in journalism, going bowling
and spending time with friends and
family.
She died of natural causes early the
Margaret Kitzmiller Sizemore, a
resident of Kingsport, died Dec. 22.
She was 89.
She worked at Eastman Kodak during WWII. After rearing her famSEE OBITUARIES, PAGE 10
REWRITES FROM THE TENNESSEE PRESS
FEBRUARY 1963
The Tennessee Press Service Board
of Directors approved expansion
plans, a major feature being a sales office in Memphis.
The Cleveland Daily Banner used a
16-page tabloid section to invite readers to an open house to see its newly
remodeled building.
TPA named a committee to assist the
National Editorial Association in planning NEA’s meeting set for October in
Memphis. Among the members were
John W. Finney, The Daily Herald, Columbia; Mrs. Raymond (Tina) Hamilton Sr., The Millington Star; John Paul
Jones, The Daily News, Memphis; and
Bill Simonton, The Covington Leader.
John R. Thislewaite, editor and
publisher of the Opelousas, La. Daily
World, told TPAers at the Press Institute that the printing process was of
secondary importance to the main
goal of publishing a good newspaper.
There was record attendance and
record-breaking interest at the Winter
Convention held in January, President
John M. Jones Sr. reported in his column.
MARCH 1988
The Tennessee Press Service had
just completed its fourth consecutive
record-breaking year, according to
TPS President Bob Atkins, publisher
of The News-Examiner, Gallatin.
Don McKay, first publisher of The
Oak Ridger, Oak Ridge, died at 78. He
began serving as publisher in 1948 and
retired in 1967.
Van Pritchartt, former managing
editor of the Memphis Press-Scimitar,
bought the Collierville Herald from
Herman W. Cox, Collierville mayor.
Carl A. Jones was awarded the Laurel Leaves Award from the Appalachian Consortium for his “more than
50 years of helping change the things
that need to be changed in this part
of Appalachia.” He was publisher and
president off the Johnson City Press.
John Seigenthaler, editor, publisher
and president of The Tennessean,
Nashville, and editorial director of
USA Today, had agreed to serve as the
first holder of the Seigenthaler Chair
of First Amendment Studies at Middle
Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro.
Pulaski Publishing Co. donated
$1,000 to New Canaan Rach to assist in
its work with homeless and troubled
people.
A Roper Poll showed that 68 percent
of American adults referred to their
local newspapers for information
about what to watch on television.
The Tennessee Press
4
FEBRUARY 2013
OBITUARIES
Marie Allmon
Former Vidette office manager
BY MARIE CORHERN
Managing editor
Serving Hartsville through her sweet
personality and dedication as the face
of The Hartsville Vidette for 11 years,
Marie Allmon passed away Dec. 16 in
Carthage.
Either you knew her sweet, adventurous side or her feisty side, Allmon
will be best remembered for her dedication to her family, Hartsville and the
newspaper she helped mold.
“From the first time that I met her, it
was like I had always known her,” said
County Clerk Rita Crowder. “She was
one of the nicest, sweetest people that
I had met. I will miss her. We all liked
Marie…we all loved Marie.”
Former Vidette Editor Bracken Mayo
said, “She was one of the best things
about working at the Vidette. It was
my first real job out of MTSU, and she
was really the perfect co-worker.
“She was a little taste of the old
school newspaper production. She
cared a lot about the Vidette, and she
cared a lot about Hartsville.”
Bracken, with a laugh, recalled a story that staffers told him about Allmon
when he first joined the staff.
“There is a story about her throwing
a telephone, coffee cup or something
at the editor before me. I was warned
about it when I first started to work
there. They were like, ‘Don’t get on
this woman’s bad side. She tried to assault the editor before you.’”
Allmon, 66, served the Vidette from
2001-11 as the office manager. She
retired in August. Many have commented how wonderful a person and
friend Allmon was, and several at The
Lebanon Democrat even called her an
“office mommy.” One of those was Accounting Manager Shelagh Mason.
“Either work related or outside of
work, she was always a pleasure. She
will definitely be missed,” said Mason.
District 2 Commissioner John Oliver called Allmon a “real, fine sweet
Southern lady.”
“She was always had a smile for
anyone who came in the door,” said
Oliver.
WTNK radio personality Jerry Richmond added, “Even when she got so
sick, it didn’t seem to affect her attitude. She was always so friendly every
time I walked into the door, and I think
she treated everyone that way.”
“I could never have done my job as
editor without Marie Allmon,” said
former Vidette Editor Liz Ferrell. “In
2006 I walked in the door, just as green
as grass, and there she was, day in and
day out. She was steady as a rock and I
leaned on her a lot.
“Marie listened to me, too, and she
gladly offered any insights she had
about people and about the town.
Wednesdays after deadline were our
most laid-back day, and we would play
catch-up and tell each other about our
week. We would talk and laugh and
solve each other’s and all the world’s
problems. We enjoyed being together
so much. There was not a day she was
not a joy to work with. I think we took
a lot of strength from each other.”
“Marie loved and understood the
people of Trousdale County,” said Ferrell. “She also loved the Vidette, and
she was proud of its heritage. And she
understood its role and its importance
in the lives of Trousdale County residents. She understood intuitively what
our customers wanted and needed.
“She was a great observer of human
nature, and she had a lot of wisdom, a
lot of common sense and a lot of compassion – she would listen to customers, and a lot of them would pour their
hearts out to her. They were never just
customers to her. They became her
friends.”
For every editor, staffer, citizen, concerned parent, outraged person or just
anyone who just wanted to step in for
a spell, they became family to Allmon.
She could tell you a story about every
person that set foot in the Vidette.
“Marie was truly one of the nicest
people I have ever worked with,” said
Lebanon Publishing Co. Publisher Joe
Adams. “She had the most infectious
sunny personality. Even when things
like floods happened she was always
the first to help me look on the bright
side.
“She was tireless in making her
customers happy, even up to the day
she retired. Her hard work and her
attitude of customer service were unmatched. She was always happy and always wanted to make things better for
everyone. We will miss her greatly.”
Allmon was the daughter of the late
J.T. Allmon and Katherine Napier.
She leaves her children, Jonathan
Connery of Houston, Texas, Angel Roberts of Carthage and Teresa
Murchie of Carthage, and two grandchildren, Shane Lee Ramsey and Chelsea Roberts
(The Hartsville Vidette,
Dec. 20, 2012)
Billy Joe Austin
Former printer
Billy Joe Austin, Henry County
native and former printer with The
Paris Post-Intelligencer, died Nov. 26 in
Lafayette, Colo. The Broomfield, Colo.
resident was 79.
Born April 7, 1933, he was the son of
the later Rufus and Ethel Irby Austin.
He also worked at The Rocky Mountain News in Denver. He was president
of the Denver Typographical Union
and vice president of the International Typographical Union, helping it
merge with the Communication Workers of America.
He leaves his wife, Helen, and five
children, Kathy Wimberley of Paris,
John Austin of Knoxville, Carolyn
Crouse and Joe Austin, both of Broomfield, and Glenda Slayton of Baton
Rouge, La. He had eight grandchildren.
A grandchild predeceased him.
(The Paris Post-Intelligencer,
Nov. 29, 2012)
Fred L. Chappell
Former circulation manager
BY RIC BOHY
The Daily Herald, Columbia
It’s not the kind
of story you expect
to hear about a man
who worked nearly
six decades as a
newspaper circulation manager.
“Of a night when
I’d make a raid,
Chappell
just me and him, or
checking out a call I
might get, he said, ‘You let me have the
flashlight, and I’ll go first,’” said Maury County Commissioner Jerry Dickey, who in the 1970s was the county
sheriff ’s only drug enforcement agent.
“He said, ‘You have the gun. If they get
me, you get them.’”
That was Fred L. Chappell, Dickey
said of his longtime friend, who died
early (Dec. 20) at age 82 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. Chappell,
who gave countless youths their first
jobs as newspaper carriers, who counseled them and encouraged them and
complimented them on jobs well done,
was hired on as circulation manager
of The Daily Herald, Columbia, in 1949
and served until 2007, a 58-year career
interrupted only by military service.
During that time, he was also an
award-winning writer and photographer, getting news fodder from his
active involvement with law enforcement. That activity earned Chappell
special deputy status from former
Maury County Sheriff Bill Voss.
As word of Chappell’s death spread
through Columbia, Maury County and
beyond, remembrances poured into
the Herald about a man who was much
more than his job.
“He had a remarkable influence
on hundreds of little boys who never would have had a chance in this
world,” Sam D. Kennedy, former Herald publisher, said of Chappell’s work
with newsboys. “He was one of the
great people I’ve ever known.”
Larry Thomas, a retired special
agent for the FBI, met Chappell “soon
after I arrived in Columbia in 1967. He
was a friend of law enforcement and
became a cherished personal friend as
well.
“I never called him with a request
that he did not promptly fulfill,” Thomas continued. “Columbia will miss this
exceptional man.”
Born in Valdosta, Ga., Chappell was
a 1949 graduate of Spring Hill High
School. Later he earned an associate
degree in criminal justice and law
enforcement from Middle Tennessee
State University, a reflection of an
abiding love for the profession and
those who practice it.
Chappell was also a witness to history. On May 25, 1953, while serving in
the U.S. Army during the Korean War
era, he participated in the only firing
of the experimental M65 Atomic Cannon — nicknamed “Atomic Annie” —
at Camp Desert Rock in Nevada. It was
the first and only nuclear shell fired
from a cannon, and Chappell’s friends
and family said the story of that experience was one of his favorites.
He also volunteered with the Ground
Observer Corps, which visually
tracked and reported potential enemy
aircraft in the 1950s, and served in the
1960s and early ’70s as civil defense director for Maury County and the City
of Columbia.
Maury County Property Assessor
Jim Dooley, another longtime friend,
said Chappell was so interested in law
enforcement and worked so often with
officers that several sheriffs asked him
to join them full time.
“He preferred to work behind the
scenes and continue his work at The
Daily Herald,” Dooley said. “Fred took
me under his wing when I was a young
news carrier at about age 12, and he instilled the values in me that helped me
become a good citizen.
“He would do anything to help people,” he continued. “As young people
do, they’d sometimes get in a little trouble and he would always help them. He
was just a fine, fine person who was
truly interested in people and the community. He will really be missed.”
Marcus Albright worked as a newspaper carrier for Chappell for 17 years
before choosing a career — in criminal
justice.
“Fred opened up the door to my career in law enforcement, which has
lasted some 14-plus years and countSEE OBITUARIES, PAGE 5
SPJ coming to state
If you’ve always wanted to attend
the annual national meeting of the Society of Professional Journalists, an
easy chance will come soon. The 2014
Excellence in Journalism Conference
will be held Sept. 4 through 6 in Nashville. Mark your calendar.
FORESIGHT
FROM PAGE 3
AUGUST
25-27: Society of Professional
Journalists Annual Convention, Anaheim, Calif.
SEPTEMBER
12-15: NNA Convention & Trade
Show, Phoenix, Ariz.
The Tennessee Press
FEBRUARY 2013
9
Public notices make citizens the ‘watchdog’
More than 450 local governments owe their and put them on local government webThose sentiments are understandable
existence to the Tennessee General Assembly, sites.
given a recent national survey by the
which through the years has required officials to
Reynolds Journalism Institute at the
Some have pushed to eliminate certain
disclose certain information and ensure that it is notices altogether, and moving them exUniversity of Missouri. It found that
communicated to the general public.
80 percent of respondents said they had
clusively to government websites effecThat communication is in the form of public tively could end some notices or make
never visited a local government webnotice like what the First U.S. Congress ordered them less timely.
site. The latest research by Connected
in 1789. One of the first bills passed required that
Tennessee, a broadband expansion
There have been proposals to end cerall bills, orders, resolutions and congressional tain election notices and to allow local
group, found that 71 percent of housevotes be published in three different newspapers governments to give notice of competiholds here had never “interacted” with
PUBLIC
– independent, not publications created by the tive bids on their website. The Tennesa local government website.
government.
The Public Notice Resource Center in
see Department of Transportation is POLICY
Those notices are designed to make govern- expected to ask the legislature this year
Arlington, Va. said putting notices on
ment and officials who run it more accountable to remove the public notice advertising OUTLOOK government websites “removes any infor their actions. Sometimes the notices deal with requirement on highway projects. If ap- Frank Gibson dependent proof of publication.”
actions already taken – a decision to appropriate proved by the legislature, that would set
“An independent and neutral third
dollars to non-profits or other private entities, for a precedent and lead to an avalanche of similar party that has an economic and civic interest in
example.
proposals from other government ensuring the notice is delivered and that the law
Other notices deal with upis followed” is the best safeguard for public noentities.
coming matters – requests for (T)he perception and
Some officials argue that mov- tice, PNRC noted.
competitive bids to get the low- premise that Americans
Proponents of the change argue that newspaing notices to government webest and best bids, announce- are leaving newspapers
sites will save money – despite the per readership has declined because more Amerments of public hearings on is false.
fact that, at last count, fully one icans are getting their news from the Internet.
budgets, proposed tax hikes,
Recent newspaper readership surveys by the
third of the 455 local governments
and zoning changes that might
do not have websites. In specific national Scarborough Research USA suggest the
allow an undesirable activity
counties where it has been pro- perception and premise that Americans are leavdown the street from your house. The state’s Sun- posed, the savings would be a tiny fraction of 1 ing newspapers is false. They found that 68 pershine Law requires that all governing bodies pro- percent of the city’s budget. Official estimates of cent of U.S. adults read a printed newspaper, an
vide “adequate public notice” of its meetings.
the cost to start websites for the 167 governments electronic edition of the paper or a newspaper
The legislature mandated the notices because without sites last year exceeded $10 million.
website within the last week.
it recognized the public’s need and right to know
When Scarborough Research broke down the
Public opinion surveys in some states show
about such things. At their core, notices let citi- that as many as four out of five people believe it readership numbers by demographic it found:
zens serve as watchdogs for official fraud and is a worthwhile use of public dollars to publish 58% of 18 to 34-year-olds read a printed newspagovernment incompetence. In one recent exam- notices in newspapers because of their indepen- per, e-edition, or the newspaper’s website in the
ple, a local county official hired his brother to do dence.
last week. That compared to 72 percent of those
construction work without getting bids or giving
A 2012 survey in Arkansas found two-thirds over age 35 and 76% of people over age 55.
notice the business was available.
That shows that people who might be migratof respondents said their “preferred” method
Public notice requirements have come under of receiving public notices is via newspapers; ing from print newspapers are going only as far
attack in the legislature in recent years – and 21 percent said direct mail and only 12 percent as the newspapers’ websites, where a majority
they will again this year. Local governments have picked “online or the Internet.” That has been of Tennessee newspapers already post the pubpushed lawmakers to notices from newspapers reinforced in Oregon and Pennsylvania, too.
FLANAGAN
notices in 1789. The long history of
verifiable publication of notices has
fostered a public trust that does not
extend to government-only posting online. You can call it “the fox guarding
the henhouse syndrome.”
Finally, newspapers have adapted to
21st Century technology and post public notices on their own websites at the
same time they are published. Also, the
Tennessee Press Association has established a searchable statewide website where all public notices are posted
at the same time as they are locally.
This extends the reach of trusted, independent publication exponentially,
well beyond the reach of government
attempting to serve its own needs.
We must try harder
“If in other lands the press and
books and literature of all kinds are
censored, we must redouble our efforts here to keep them free. If in
FRANK GIBSON is the TPA public policy director.
One can reach him in Nashville at (615) 202-2685 or
[email protected]
Diseases outbreak tops 2012 stories in Tennessee
PUBLIC NOTICE WEEK
FROM PAGE 8
notices on government websites to cut
the expense of publishing them and
saying that newspapers are dying and
no longer have the readership they
once had.
Such efforts are ill advised.
First, and foremost, surveys have
shown most people do not and would
not access government websites to
read public notices.
Organizations, including the League
of Women Voters, Common Cause and
AARP, oppose efforts by state and local
governments to post their own public
notices.
Second, newspapers have been publishing public notices since the First
Congress ordered publication of
lic notices that appear in their print editions.
They put them there at no additional cost.
A major concern of citizen and good government groups is that notices be accessible to “all
segments of society,” including the elderly, rural,
economically disadvantaged – people who do not
have computers or regular access to one and lack
the skills to comb through a myriad of government websites. AARP, for example, says that 40
percent of seniors over 50 are not comfortable using a computer.
Issues about the reliability of government websites remain.
One discovery during the controversy over how
the county planning commission handled approval of construction of a Muslim mosque in
Murfreesboro involved the county’s website.
The Rutherford County Regional Planning
Commission had for months posted its meeting agenda on the website. Except this time the
agenda wasn’t posted until a week after the meeting. Mosque opponents complained they had no
notice the matter was on the agenda.
Then there are issues about the adequacy of
public notice period. In Maury County, citizens,
including the local Tea Party president, are having trouble getting meeting notices as early as 48
hours before some meetings, can’t get copies of
agendas until the day of meetings, and reporters
can’t get materials provided county commissioners as background for agenda items.
Public notice problems are bad enough already.
Giving some local government officials exclusive
control over notices will be the same as not giving
notice.
other lands the eternal truths of the
past are threatened by intolerance, we
must provide a safe place for their perpetuation.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Here are the top Tennessee stories of
2012, as selected in voting by subscribers and staff of the Associated Press:
1. An outbreak of fungal meningitis
and other diseases linked to tainted
steroid shots leads to more than 80
cases and a dozen deaths in Tennessee.
(October-December)
2. Pat Summitt, winningest coach in
NCAA basketball, steps down as coach
of the Lady Vols. (April 18)
3. Republicans win a supermajority
in the state Legislature for first time
since Reconstruction. (Nov. 6)
4. Tennessee implements election
changes, including redistricting and
requiring photo identification for voters, while a court allows Shelby County to use library card I.D. for general
election. (January-November)
5. U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais is hit
with election-year revelations from
his 2001 divorce that showed he dated
patients, urged one of them to get
an abortion, prescribed another one
painkillers and consented when his
ex-wife had two abortions. (OctoberNovember)
6. (tie) The triple-digit heat wave
shatters high temperature records
across the state. (June 25-30)
6. (tie) A mosque near Murfreesboro
is allowed to open after opponents
wage a two-year legal battle to stop it.
(Aug. 10)
8. Two West Tennessee sisters, 12year-old Alexandria and 8-year-old
Kyliyah Bain, are recovered alive after
their abductor killed their mother and
sister and himself. (May 10)
9. Tennessee fires football coach Derek Dooley after his third losing season
with the Volunteers (Nov. 18)
10. (tie) The Southern Baptist Convention votes to make the Rev. Fred
Luter Jr. its first African-American
president and to adopt an optional
alternative name, Great Commission
Baptists. (June 20)
10. (tie) Tennessee walking horse
trainer Jackie McConnell and three
others plead guilty after undercover
video shows them soring, beating
horses. (May)
(Posted by Tom Humphrey,
columnist, Dec. 24, 2012,
www.knoxnews.com)
Institute offers free
training to teachers
The Reynolds High School Journalism Institute provides a free, intensive
two-week journalism training program for high school teachers.
Newspapers may want to promote
it with journalism/communications
teachers and their administrators in
area high schools. There is no cost to
the teacher or school.
One of the workshops will be July 1426 at the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia.
For more information and to register, go to http://www.hsj.org/modules/
program_applications/index.cfm.
The Tennessee Press
10
FEBRUARY 2013
Looking better –
Cribb survey
OBITUARIES
FROM PAGE 5
ily she worked for several years at
the Kingsport Times News. She was a
loving wife, mother, grandmother and
great-grandmother. She was a member
of Pleasant View Baptist Church from
1947 until her death.
She was predeceased by her husband
of 47 years, Ballard D. Sizemore and
parents, Edward and Lillie Kitzmiller.
She leaves a daughter, Sheila Fleming of Kingsport; two sons, R. Dillon
Sizemore of Germanton, N.C. and Rick
Sizemore of Kingsport; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
(Kingsport Times-News,
Dec. 24, 2012)
sales staff of The Tennessean, remaining there 14 years except for serving
in the Pacific Theater of World War
II from 1941 to 1945. He was a machine
gunner most of the time.
In 1948 he joined the sales staff of
WSIX and remained there 48 years.
In early years he was a member of
Hobson Methodist Church. After he
and his wife were married at Calvary
United Methodist Church, he joined it.
Stratton was married to the late Louise Henegar.
(The Tennessean, Nashville,
Nov. 28, 2012)
Doug Young
Edward Stratton
Knoxville Journal writer
Once with Tennessean
The
Knoxville
Journal lost a great
writer and beloved
friend in December.
Douglas Lindley
Young, also known
as D. Lindley Young
and Doug Young,
died Dec. 4 at his
Young
home in Oak Ridge.
He was 63.
Young grew up in North Knoxville,
and graduated from Fulton High School
in 1968, where he was a member of the
winning football team, along with his
best friend, Herb Newton. He attended
the University of Tennessee for two
years before moving to Los Angeles. He
graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles and attended the
California College of Law. He passed
the bar exam on his first attempt in
Edward M. (Ed) Stratton, a former
advertising salesman for The Tennessean, Nashville, died Nov. 25. He was
101. His home was in Nashville.
He was owner and president of Merry Sounds Advertising Agency, which
he founded in 1976 and continued until
his death.
He was the voice of Emma’s Flowers, “The Superlative Florist,” on
television and radio since 1983, which
brought many compliments and offers
of employment from advertising agencies in large cities. He refused them all.
He graduated from Central High
School and attended the University of
Tennessee. He worked his way through
college at the height of the Great Depression.
In 1935 he joined the advertising
California and practiced criminal law
in Los Angeles for many years. Young
moved to Florida for health reasons,
later returning to Knoxville to take
care of his ailing father.
While living in Los Angeles, Young
created the Salute America Organization and The Winner in You Award and
organized and hosted an event that
was the “largest national day of award
giving in history.” Young’s theme was
“There is a winner in you.” Young was
also one of the founders of the Annual
Super Celebrity Event to End World
Hunger, organizing and planning the
first gala held in Los Angeles in 1983.
One of the joys of his life was to see
others receive awards for merit and
achievement.
In 2003, Young, known on air as Wild
Bill Lindley, began the radio show Salute America at Horne Radio Station
850 AM. The show was a political talk
show that focused on national and international news, but, also included
guests from the local political arena.
Doug’s son, Scott Young, was the producer, the board was handled by Tracy
Meares, and the co-host, who was added September 2007, was Martha Rose
Woodward, writer with the Knoxville
Journal. Because of that show, Young
met Renee Wheeler, owner of the Knoxville Journal, and Martha Woodward,
writer, who would become his dearest
friends. Young was also founder of the
Modern Tribune, an online news site.
Young’s numerous hobbies included
computers, writing, lecturing, reading, politics, studying history, giving
awards, hosting radio shows, walking
and he was an ardent fan of University
of Tennessee sports.
Young was most recently employed
by Renee Wheeler of the Knoxville
Journal as political writer and spokesperson.
“Doug will always be remembered in
our hearts as a great man who was an
inspiration to all of us who knew him.
He was kind, gentle and known for his
sacrificial giving. We will miss him so
much,” stated Wheeler.
“Doug Young was one of my best
friends. I miss him terribly already.
The world was a better place because
he was in it,” Woodward said.
Young was preceded in death by
his wife, Maxine, and father, Carlo
Young. He leaves a son, Scott Young,
and grandson, Gabriel Young, both of
Knoxville, and his mother, Barbara
Mason of Daytona Beach, Fla.
(The Knoxville Journal,
Dec. 7, 2012)
Wayman Zachary
Former Sun employee
Wayman Allan Zachary of Byrdstown died Dec. 9. He was 70.
He was born Oct. 27, 1942 in Pickett
County to the late Wayman Hobert
and Mildred Cope Flowers Zachary.
He lived most of his life in Ohio and
Jackson.
He was a former employee of The
Jackson Sun, a veteran of the Air
Force and of the Church of Christ
faith.
(Pickett County Press,
Dec. 20, 2012)
Chappell: Good citizen, good friend, great newspaperman
BY SAM D. KENNEDY
Kennedy Newspaper Co., Columbia
Fred Chappell, longtime circulation
director of The Daily Herald, Columbia, died last night.
He succumbed to Parkinson’s disease, which had ravaged this strong
man who did not take defeat lightly.
He was the circulation director of
the Herald for more than a half-century and was my trusted aide in the
years when I was publisher there.
Words usually come easily to me, but
this is difficult.
Fred was more than a treasured coworker, more than a friend; he was one
of those I depended on and in whom I
had absolute trust.
He did so much for the young men
who came to work as paper carriers,
many of whom had few prospects,
to make them useful citizens. He did
more for those boys (and later girls)
The Tennessee Press
FEBRUARY 2013
than all the social workers, teachers
and preachers in the county. He was
a mentor, counselor, first sergeant,
instructor and father figure to hundreds of carriers who delivered your
Daily Herald from 1949 to the turn of
the century. Often the small amount
they earned was all the money they
had, and Fred made sure it was spent
wisely and benefited their families. He
saw to it that they attended school, had
warm clothes and that they learned
how to work and be responsible.
It is foolish of me to use names because I will miss too many, but Jimmy
Dooley, county tax assessor, Police
Chief Pat Troope; James Dickey, Judge
Buddy Wise and Tennessee Highway
Patrol Officer Marvin Ricketts all
quickly come to mind as some of his
young men who went on to successful
lives and careers.
I count him among those who contributed the most to our county during
my life.
He loved the Herald, and he loved
being a newspaperman. He believed
in the Herald, and his efforts helped
make it one of the best small daily
newspapers in Tennessee.
He believed strongly that our paper
should lead, be an instrument for good,
and did his part to make it so.
He loved to be a reporter, though that
was not his job. He especially enjoyed
chasing down stories on the police
beat.
Fred had few formal degrees, but
he was one of the smartest and besteducated men I ever knew. He read prodigiously and stayed fully informed
about public affairs.
In theory, I was his boss, but he never
hesitated to challenge my opinion and
debate the stands our paper should
take on public issues. He always did
this with a smile on his face and usually, he was right.
We thought he was destined to die
a bachelor, but suddenly he surprised
us by marrying one of our brightest
young reporters, Sue McClure. She
was smart enough and bright enough
to keep up with her husband and has
been his love and supporter through
good times and bad and his strength in
his days of sickness.
Good citizen, good friend, great newspaperman – this community is far better for having had Fred on the job.
Betty and I, the old Herald crew and
those he worked with in recent years
all mourn his passing and send our
love and sympathy to Sue.
We will miss him, too.
Sam D. Kennedy is publisher of the
Lawrenceburg Advocate and a former
editor and publisher of The Daily Herald.
(The Daily Herald, Columbia,
Dec. 20, 2013)
The Cribb, Greene Publisher Confidence Survey Fall 2012 key question
categories seem to point to much stronger positive forecasts from newspaper
executives on the near-term future.
One hundred eight newspaper executives completed the 2012 survey.
In particular is a strong increase in
executives who believe that the local
economy in their markets is improving – up from 14 percent in 2011 to
more than 40 percent in 2012 who believe their markets are up.
Those who think their market economies are declining went from 26 percent in 2011 down to 13 percent in 2012.
The results of this question indicate
that publishers believe their economic
situation is improving markedly.
(Missouri Press Association)
Business journalism
training offered
The Walter J. Lemke Department of
Journalism at the University of Arkansas and the Missouri Press Association have partnered with the Donald
W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism to bring free training
in business journalism to community
journalists, including those from Missouri.
The day-long workshop, “Uncovering the Best Local Business Stories,”
will take place April 12 in the Donald
W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. It is free for journalists, journalism students and faculty,
but registration is required.
For more information, email Linda
Austin, [email protected]
Two newspapers
increase prices
The Weakley County Press, Martin,
started the new year with an increase
in its single copy price. It went from 50
cents to 75 cents. The paper, with circulation near 3,700, publishes Tuesday
and Thursday. This paper is owned by
David Critchlow of Union City, according to the 2013 Tennessee Newspaper
Directory.
The Dresden Enterprise in Weakley
County raised its price on Jan. 1 from
50 to 75 cents. The Enterprise, which
prints on Wednesday, has a circulation
of almost 4,000. Its owner is Tri-County
Publishing Co., the directory shows.
Kudos
Joel and Brittany Washburn, The
McKenzie Banner, were the first to
register for the Winter Convention
and Press Institute. TPA received their
form on Dec. 14.
3
LAWSUIT
FROM PAGE 2
KATHY HENSLEY | TPS
Tennessee Press Service Director Ralph Baldwin, chief operating officer, Jones Media Inc., Greeneville, right,
visited TPA/TPS on Jan. 8 to meet with Greg Sherrill, TPS executive vice president, and Laurie Alford, controller.
NNA to market AP News Choice
The National Newspaper Association on Jan. 2 rolled out a new marketing partnership with the Associated
Press to encourage weekly newspapers
to take advantage of the AP’s new wire
service for weeklies. Available only to
papers publishing no more than twice
weekly, it provides real-time AP news
for print or digital publications at a
cost designed to fit the smaller newspa-
per budget. Subscribers will be invited
to choose from among several categories of news streams, one of which is
state news.
Stories are delivered into the AP Exchange browser, which enables a user
to create searches for people and topics with local ties, towns and neighborhoods. Participants can package
News Choice in their newspapers and
on websites or other digital offerings.
The NNA manager for News Choice is
Sara Walsh, located in NNA’s Columbia, Mo. office. She can be reached at
[email protected]
MARKETPLACE
Advertising Retail Sales Manager—The Northeast Tennessee Media
Group in Kingsport, TN is seeking
an Advertising Retail Sales Manager
to lead a territory team of sales executives. This position will drive and
grow revenue by identifying sales opportunities, executing sales strategies
and coaching sales executives in order
to meet print, online and niche goals.
This position requires a candidate that
will have a minimum of 3 to 5 years experience, selling across print, digital
and other media. Please send resume,
references and salary requirements to
Justin Wilcox at [email protected] No phone calls please.
Digital Sales Manager—The Northeast Tennessee Media Group is seeking a Digital Sales Manager to lead
a territory team of sales executives.
This position will drive and grow revenue by identifying sales opportunities,
executing sales strategies and coaching sales executives in order to meet
online and niche goals. This position
requires a candidate that will have a
minimum of 3 to 5 years experience,
selling across digital and other media.
Please send resume, references and
salary requirements to Justin Wilcox
at [email protected] No
phone calls please.
Have a job opening?
Post your open
positions and review resumes
in the employment area of
www.tnpress.com.
couldn’t find signs that DCS made errors.
Haslam told The Tennessean in October that he wanted to hand over the
case files to show the type of effort
that DCS put into those cases but that
O’Day talked him out of that because
of privacy concerns. O’Day said she
didn’t want to identify the deceased
children in the interest of protecting
the privacy of surviving family members. “These are very real issues and
the reasons for these privacy laws,”
O’Day said then. “They’re not to protect DCS – they’re really to protect the
families.”
Haslam has since backed the department’s withholding of the files.
Clarification: A story in Thursday’s
Tennessean may have left the impression that the DCS failed to respond to a
request from the Children’s Advocacy
Institute for child fatality and nearfatality information. The institute
said it sent a certified letter to the state
requesting that information but never
received a return receipt showing the
letter had arrived. DCS said on Friday
that it never received the certified letter requesting the information.
The Tennessean originally requested
records in September of all fatalities
and near fatalities from January 2009
to June 2012. DCS first turned over a
spreadsheet that Harvey characterized as containing “no information of
any use.”
When the paper requested more information on five cases, DCS provided
brief summaries. In one, the agency
was not involved with the family prior
to the trauma that led to her death. In
the other four, according to the summaries, the agency’s prior involvement
with the family was “not pertinent” to
the child’s death or near death.
In one of those cases, the summary
indicates a 3-year-old girl was on a
trial visit with her grandmother when
she ingested opiates and was physically abused. “There is no explanation
of what that prior involvement was,”
Harvey said in court. “...There is no
way to evaluate this.”
Chancellor Carol McCoy said it
was important for the public to know
whether DCS was doing all it could to
protect children.
“It’s important to know, not just how
a child died, but how did the child get
into the custody of the person (who
killed the child),” she said. McCoy
also said it was important to protect
children and families from notoriety,
especially in the cases where the child
was still alive.
As part of a court order, the state
turned over to McCoy all of its records
relating to four of its cases.
McCoy said she would review the records and rule later on what information, if any, must be made public.
(Adapted, Associated Press,
Dec. 20, 2012 and Jan. 9, 2013 )
FORESIGHT
2013
FEBRUARY
6: Tennessee Coalition for Open
Government meeting, 10
a.m., DoubleTree Hotel,
Nashville
6-8: TPA Winter Convention
and Press Institute, DoubleTree Hotel, Nashville
22: Deadline for submitting
entries for Advertising/Circulation Ideas Contest
22: Deadline for submitting
entries for UT-TPA State
Press Contests
MARCH
3-9: Sunshine Week
3-9: Newspaper in Education
Week
14: National Freedom of Information Conference, Freedom
Forum, Washington, D.C.
14: NNA We Believe in Newspapers Leadership Summit,
Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport, Arlington, Va.
16: National Freedom of Information Day
APRIL
4-6: 17th Annual American
Copy Editors Society National
Conference, St. Louis, Mo.
5: SPJ Region 12 (Rivers
Region) Spring Conference,
Oxford, Miss.
12: Deadline for Networks ad
rep sales contest
25-27: Mid-Atlantic Newspaper
Advertising and Marketing
Executives Conference, Holliday Inn-Charleston, Mt.
Pleasant, S.C.
27: Associated Press Managing Editors and Broadcasters
Awards Banquet, Nashville
28: International Newspaper
Marketing Association World
Congress, Marriott Marquis,
New York, N.Y.
MAY
2-3: TPA Advertising/Circulation Conference (tentative)
JUNE
13-15: 144th Anniversary Summer Convention, DoubleTree
Hotel, Memphis
20-23: Investigative Reporters
and Editors Conference, San
Antonio Marriott Rivercenter
24-26: American Society of
Newspaper Editors Annual
Conference, Marriott Washington, Warman Park, Washington, D.C.
JULY
10-14: International Society
of Weekly Newspaper Editors
Conference, St. Norbert College, Green Bay, Wis.
12: UT-TPA State Press Contests
Awards Luncheon, Nashville
(tentative)
SEE FORESIGHT, PAGE 4
The Tennessee Press
2
(USPS 616-460)
Published quarterly by the
TENNESSEE PRESS SERVICE, INC.
for the
TENNESSEE PRESS ASSOCIATION, INC.
435 Montbrook Lane
Knoxville, Tennessee 37919
Telephone (865) 584-5761/Fax (865) 558-8687/www.tnpress.com
Subscriptions: $6 annually
Periodicals Postage Paid At Knoxville, TN
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Tennessee Press,
435 Montbrook Lane, Knoxville, TN 37919.
The Tennessee Press is printed by The Standard Banner, Jefferson City.
Greg M. Sherrill.....................................................Editor
Elenora E. Edwards.............................Managing Editor
Robyn Gentile..........................Production Coordinator
Angelique Dunn...............................................Assistant
The Tennessee Press
is printed on recycled paper
and is recyclable.
www.tnpress.com
The Tennessee Press can be read on
OFFICIAL WEB SITE OF THE TENNESSEE PRESS ASSOCIATION
TENNESSEE PRESS ASSOCIATION
Michael Williams, The Paris Post-Intelligencer....................................President
Lynn Richardson, Herald & Tribune, Jonesborough...................Vice President
Jason Taylor, Chattanooga Times Free Press..............................Vice President
Joel Washburn, The McKenzie Banner.................................................Treasurer
Greg M. Sherrill, Knoxville....................................................Executive Director
DIRECTORS
Keith Wilson, Kingsport Times-News.....................................................District 1
Jack McElroy, News Sentinel, Knoxville................................................District 2
Chris Vass, Chattanooga Times Free Press............................................District 3
Darren Oliver, Overton County News, Livingston................................District 4
Hugh Jones, Shelbyville Times-Gazette................................................District 5
Joe Adams, The Lebanon Democrat......................................................District 6
John Finney, Buffalo River Review, Linden...........................................District 7
Brad Franklin, The Lexington Progress..................................................District 8
Dennis Richardson, Magic Valley Publishing........................................District 9
Eric Barnes, The Daily News, Memphis...............................................District 10
Jeffrey D. Fishman, The Tullahoma News.....................................Past President
TENNESSEE PRESS SERVICE
Jeff Fishman, The Tullahoma News.......................................................President
Victor Parkins, The Milan Mirror-Exchange...................................Vice President
Ralph Baldwin, Jones Media Inc., Greeneville.......................................Director
Pauline D. Sherrer, Crossville Chronicle.................................................Director
Jason Taylor, Chattanooga Times Free Press..........................................Director
Michael B. Williams..................................................................................Director
Greg M. Sherrill.............................................................Executive Vice President
TENNESSEE PRESS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION
Gregg K. Jones, The Greeneville Sun...................................................President
Victor Parkins, The Milan Mirror-Exchange...................................Vice President
Richard L. Hollow, Knoxville....................................................General Counsel
Greg M. Sherrill....................................................................Secretary-Treasurer
CONTACT THE MANAGING EDITOR
TPAers with suggestions, questions or comments about items in The Tennessee Press are welcome to contact the managing editor. Call Elenora Easterly
Edwards, (865) 457-5459; send a note to P.O. Box 502, Clinton, Tenn. 377170502; or email [email protected] The deadline for the March
issue is Feb. 11.
FEBRUARY 2013
Come to the Winter Convention!
I want to encourage everyone to attend the TPA
Following Nominating and Technology commitWinter Convention and Press Institute Feb. 6-8 in
tee meetings, we’ll hear from key legislative leadNashville — but it may well be over by the time
ers on their plans for this session. Associated
publishers and editors receive the February ediPress state bureau chief Adam Yeomans always
tion of The Tennessee Press, for which this colhas a great line-up for this session, co-sponsored
umn was written.
by AP and TPA.
However, I’ve learned we bend the rules and
Then Gov. Bill Haslam will speak at the noon
send this column out early in Robyn’s weekly
luncheon, which also will feature welcoming re“member update” emails. So I’ll feel free to push
marks by Dr. Joseph DiPietro, the University of
our meeting. If you’re reading this in the Press
Tennessee president. We’re grateful for UT’s longYOUR
after the convention, you’ll just have to wail and
standing support of our institute.
PRESIDING
gnash your teeth if you failed to take advantage
And I’m also looking forward to hearing from
of this great opportunity.
Elisha Hodge, the state’s open records counsel,
REPORTER talking with us in the afternoon about open govChairman of this year’s convention/institute is
Lynn Richardson, publisher of the Herald & Triernment. The other afternoon session is geared
bune in Jonesborough, who’ll succeed me as your Michael B. Williams specifically toward helping smaller newspapers
next president in June at the summer convention
understand the “digital future,” which deals with
in Memphis. Lynn’s done a fantastic job heading
social media like Facebook, Twitter and so much
up a committee that’s full of talented individuals.
more.
The winter convention/press institute is designed to help
After a full day, we’ll enjoy food, fellowship and live music at
editors and publishers handle important business and get to a private party at Margaritaville!
know each other better, while learning more about the top isFriday kicks off with an unusual “What’s your problem?”
sues facing our newspapers and meeting with our legislators. breakfast, hosted by yours truly. We’ll deal with specific chalIt also gives our newspaper staff members and student jour- lenges we face and offer possible solutions. But the deal is:
nalists in college the opportunity to gain valuable training You have to let us know what challenges you want us to adfrom some of the best professionals in our industry.
dress. These will be shared with all TPA publishers through
Under Lynn’s guidance, nobody will be disappointed this the Internet and TPA website, and they’ll be asked to tell us
year. We’ll begin Wednesday afternoon with a Government how they’d answer your challenge. What, you don’t expect me
Affairs Committee meeting to discuss our all-important bill to come up with brainy solutions off the top of my head, do
we’re introducing in this legislative session to make sure you? You do understand I could, if it wasn’t first thing in the
public notices stay where they belong — in our communities’ morning.
newspapers. To do that, we’ll be required to post them on our
Then our wonderful Drive-In Training part of the institute
websites and on tnpublicnotice.com, the statewide website op- kicks off from 9:30 a.m. through 3:45 p.m. with more than a
erated by the Tennessee Press Service.
dozen sessions on everything from writing and photography
The latest information on our bill also will be discussed to ethics and “Challenges Facing Student Media.” Remember,
during the Board of Directors meeting and possibly the TPA the TPA Foundation offers scholarships to encourage college
business session to follow. Everyone should attend these im- journalists to attend our institute each year, so please help us
portant meetings.
welcome them — and check out your future job applicants!
Then we’ll meet with our legislators during a reception that
Friday’s luncheon will feature The Tennessean’s commuevening. Be sure you’ve personally contacted your legislators nity conversations editor, Frank Daniels. I’m told he’s a fascito invite them! And it’s embarrassing for legislators to come nating speaker, and am looking forward to meeting him.
and find not one publisher from their districts present – so be
I don’t know how Lynn and her committee packed so much
sure you’re there. Your personal contact with your legislators into a two-and-a-half-day meeting. I also don’t know how any
will be essential to getting our bill through the process and TPA member can afford NOT to come. I look forward to seeing
into law without crippling amendments.
you there!
All that takes place in one afternoon and early evening. But
check out what Lynn’s committee has planned for Thursday. MICHAEL B. WILLIAMS is editor and publisher of The Paris
Post-Intelligencer.
LAWSUIT
FROM PAGE ONE
about as it pertains to the safety of children,” Gerber said. “We think that if
media organizations join together in the
face of officials not wanting to provide
public information, it may send them a
message that we’re serious about public
information and about seeking information that we believe the public has a
right to know about.”
San Diego-based Children’s Advocacy
Institute, which tracks the transparency of child welfare agencies, gave Tennessee a “B-plus” for its laws and policies requiring transparency children,”
Gerber said. “We think that if media
organizations join together in the face
of officials not wanting to provide public information, it may send them a
message that we’re serious about public
information and about seeking information that we believe the public has a
right to know about.”
San Diego-based Children’s Advocacy
Institute, which tracks the transparency
of child welfare agencies, in the case of
child deaths.
But Elisa Weichel, the institute’s administrative director, said her group is
now testing whether solid transparency
laws in states such as Tennessee are actually functioning in reality.
The institute has asked DCS for child
fatality and near-fatality information,
she said.
“In these specific instances involving a
child’s death or near fatality, we need to
make sure the system serving these kids
didn’t drop the ball or miss an opportunity to save that kid and, in turn, save future kids down the road,” Weichel said.
“There are a lot of reasons for systems
breaking down. Systems are under-resourced. It’s not about blaming. Sometimes it’s about trying to raise public
awareness that these agencies don’t have
the proper resources to do a good job.”
Agency scrutinized
DCS and its chief have come under fire
for a series of problems and missteps.
For example:
• The department’s chief lawyer acknowledged the agency had been violating the law by not reporting child deaths
to lawmakers.
• A sheriff and children’s advocates in
Dickson County said DCS wasn’t properly intervening in situations where children were experiencing severe abuse.
• The state’s child abuse hotline was
leaving as many as a quarter of all calls
unanswered.
• The DCS computer system failed to
make proper payments to foster parents
and private agencies, and accompanying
data problems have meant the agency
can’t provide accurate information on
children in its care, which has hindered
progress in a federal court settlement
that requires the agency to take better
care of foster children.
The concerns prompted Gov. Bill
Haslam to review the 31 child fatality case files in September. He said he
SEE LAWSUIT, PAGE 3
The Tennessee Press
FEBRUARY 2013
11
Response to Safer’s lament for newspapers
BY KEVIN SLIMP
TPS technology director
My 13-year-old son
received an iPod
Touch for Christmas
this year. I know my
son. Probably as well
as I’ve ever known
anyone. And I knew,
given time, he would
lose his expensive
Slimp
gift.
In an effort to soften
the blow when the device did turn up
missing, I had Zachary create a background screen with the words, “If you
find this iPod, please email [email protected]
kevinslimp.com to let my dad know you
have it.”
I had to tell you that story, so you
would understand the reference to my
son a little further down this column.
Now for story number two. In the late
’90s, I left the newspaper world for a
few years to be director of communications for the United Methodist Church
in my part of the United States. I had
a staff that created publications, online
content, public relations material and a
newspaper. Some of the most interesting aspects of my job came under the
heading of “crisis communication.”
As crisis communication director, I
prepared the organization for emergencies we hoped we’d never see. Several
thousand professionals made up the
clergy and staffs of these congregations
and it was my job to be sure they were
ready in the event of a “media event.” I
was quite adept at getting TV reporters
to report just about anything. Newspapers weren’t as quick – you might say
“gullible” – to accept everything as the
truth, so I generally used television to
get information out to the masses.
This meant I would create text that
ministers and others were to use if
called by a member of the media during
a crisis. They were always instructed,
if the reporter wanted more information than I had provided, to contact me
directly.
Understanding that story will also
come in handy as you read further.
So last night I was having dinner with
a friend when I got a text that read, “Are
you watching ‘60 Minutes?’”
“No,” was my immediate response.
“They’re saying the newspaper industry is dead. I thought you’d want to
know.”
Within minutes came an email from
Karen Geary of The Paris Post-Intelligencer. “Did you see ‘60 Minutes’?
It’s a story about The Times-Picayune.
They’re saying newspapers are dead.”
The evening continued like that with
texts, emails and calls arriving from
concerned viewers near and far.
This morning, I found the 12-minute clip online and watched it. Then I
watched it again. Then I watched it and
took notes. In less than 11 seconds, Morley Safer said, referring to newspapers,
“virtually an entire industry in freefall.”
The story, of course, was about the
Times-Picayune’s move from a daily to
a three-days-a-week publication. I was
especially interested because some of
the folks in the story were the same
folks who contacted me back when the
shift was announced.
Steve Newhouse declined to be interviewed for the story. That job fell to Jim
Amoss, longtime editor of the paper.
Safer’s first question to Amoss seemed
simple enough. “Did you agree with the
decision to start publishing three days
a week?”
I’m listening to this interview for the
fourth time as I write. And for the life of
me, I still haven’t heard him answer the
question. He gave what sounded to me
like a “packaged” response, the kind I
might have written years ago.
It reminded me so much of my son,
when I asked where his iPod was, knowing full well it had been lost. He told me
all about the possible places an iPod
could be, without coming out and telling me he’d lost it a few days earlier.
I felt for him. I wanted Amoss to tell us
what he really thought, one way or the
other. All I got from listening to his interview was that the industry was grappling with options. Safer equated what
was happening to surgery, where all the
limbs are amputated and replaced by
artificial limbs.
In an open letter to Advance, the paper’s parent company, several highprofile citizens of New Orleans, including many names that you would know,
wrote that “The Newhouses are losing
the trust of the community.”
David Carr, New York Times reporter,
said, “I don’t think they expected the
hurricane winds that came against
them.”
Yet in a radio interview from a few
weeks ago, David Francis, business
manager for the NOLA Media Group,
of which The Times-Picayune is a part,
said that New Orleans is “embracing us
again.”
I called Carl Redman, executive editor
of The Advocate in Baton Rouge, to ask
him about the new daily paper in New
Orleans created by the Baton Rouge
paper. Redman reports that his group
was overwhelmed by the response to
the new daily. They had hoped for a
circulation of 10,000 by February 2013.
Instead, more than 10,000 subscribed to
the newspaper within a week. Between
home delivery and single copy sales,
The Advocate currently reaches approximately 20,000 homes each day.
I tried to reach someone at The TimesPicayune, sending emails to the publisher and several managers but received
no response.
Finally, I decided to talk with Rob Curley, deputy editor of the Orange County
HOW TO CONTACT US
Tennessee Press
Association
Mail: 435 Montbrook Lane,
Knoxville, TN 37919
Phone: (865) 584-5761
Fax: (865) 558-8687
Web: www.tnpress.com
E-mail: (name)@tnpress.
com
Those with boxes, listed
alphabetically:
Laurie Alford (lalford)
Pam Corley (pcorley)
Morley Safer talks about newspapers on CBS-TV’s ‘60 Minutes.’
Register, whose resume includes more
experience in online journalism than
anyone I can think of. Rob is a household name and I figured he could give
me insight on whatever it is I’m missing related to The Times-Picayune conversion to a non-daily.
Instead we spent most of our conversation talking about his new job in Orange County. The Register is one of the
20 biggest papers in the country.
Rob has left his role as online guru to
serve as one of five deputy editors of
the paper. He explained that, since July,
the Register has increased its newsroom staff from 185 writers and editors
to 300.
I could write several columns about
the changes at the Register, but I could
sense Rob’s excitement when he discussed his work with America’s “largest community newspaper,” a description credited to Ken Brusic, executive
editor.
After spending my afternoon interviewing Carl Redman and Rob Curley, I
found it difficult to understand why Saf-
er referred to newspapers as “dying.”
I found it even harder to understand
after reading a story in News & Tech
today that six of eight publicly-traded
newspaper companies showed increases
in their stock prices in 2012. Not small
increases, but double-digit increases.
I love talking with folks who are excited about working for their newspapers.
I visited with two newspapers over
the past two weeks to work with their
staffs. Both papers are doing well and
continue to invest in the future.
It’s no coincidence that papers that invest in the future thrive. And while the
Orange County Register may be America’s largest community paper, you can
bet that thousands of community papers will continue to serve their communities and surprise Morley Safer at
the same time.
My suggestion? Remind your readers that your paper is providing a vital
service to the community as it has for
years. And, perhaps, take a cue from the
folks in Orange County and continue to
invest in the future.
Fishman continues on NNAF board;
news fellows program developed
A new slate of officers was elected
to lead the National Newspaper Association Foundation (NNAF) during
the NNA convention in Charleston,
SC. Elected president was Elizabeth
Parker, executive editor and co-publisher of New Jersey Hills Media Inc. in
Bernardsville, N.J. Continuing to serve
on the board of directors is R. Jack
Fishman, president of Lakeway Publishing, Morristown. The foundation
board unanimously agreed that new
programs must be developed to bring
the importance of community newspapers into the foreground. It adopted
a plan to develop a news fellows pro-
gram to coincide with the We Believe
in Newspapers Leadership Conference
March 14-15 in Washington.
Grants from state associations to fund
college journalism students as fellows
in the program will be sought, and
community journalism mentors will
be matched with them to provide guidance on how to gather news stories in
Washington, where a constant brew of
fact and opinion compete for public attention.
Contributions to the program may be
sent to NNAF in care of Bill Miller, P.O.
Box 336, Washington, Mo. 63090-0336.
Angelique Dunn (adunn)
Beth Elliott (belliott)
Robyn Gentile (rgentile)
Frank Gibson (fgibson)
Earl Goodman (egoodman)
Kathy Hensley (khensley)
Greg Sherrill (gsherrill)
Kevin Slimp (kslimp)
David Wells (dwells)
Heather Wright (hwright)
Advertising e-mail:
[email protected]
Tennessee Press Service
Mail: 435 Montbrook Lane,
Knoxville, TN 37919
Phone: (865) 584-5761
Fax: (865) 558-8687
Web: www.tnadvertising.
biz
Tennessee Press
Association Foundation
Mail: 435 Montbrook Lane,
Knoxville, TN 37919
Phone: (865) 584-5761
Fax: (865) 558-8687
Web: www.tnpress.com
The Tennessee Press
12
FEBRUARY 2013
Newspapers concerned with impending USPS barcode change
BY STANLEY SCHWARTZ
Managing editor, Publishers’ Auxiliary
National Newspaper Association
C
M
Y
K
An impending change by the U.S.
Postal Service from its PostNet barcode to the new Intelligent Mail barcode has some newspaper owners
concerned. Brad Hill, one of the National Newspaper Association (NNA)’s
representatives on the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee, recently presented a Webinar hosted by the Iowa
Newspaper Foundation and NNA,
where he outlined the coming change
and answered questions. Hill has been
with Interlink, a mail software company, for 10 years.
The change, he said, “will affect everyone one way or another.” He noted
that the postal barcode is there to help
newspaper mailers claim automation
discounts. This IMb, he added, is not
the same thing as the retail barcode
some newspapers use so their papers
can be sold in stores. Those Universal
Product Codes (UPCs) are available
through the Uniform Code Council.
The automation discounts will lower
the postage rate for a piece of mail.
Barcodes are used so mail can run on
automated flat sorting equipment. And
even though a newspaper might not
actually be put on an automated sorting machine, Hill said, the newspaper
can still claim the discount. The PostNet barcode is still current, but that
changed in January. The reason the
USPS switched to the newer barcode,
Hill said, is because it contains more
information and will allow the mail to
be tracked, with an end-goal of improving delivery times. The old PostNet
barcode has only two bar heights and
will be retired. The newer IMb, effective Jan. 28, has four bar heights and
can hold more information. If newspa-
pers want to continue to claim automation discounts, they must switch to the
new IMb, Hill said.
The USPS wants to use IMb for endto-end tracking for measuring and
improving service standards. The
new barcode also will provide linkage
to USPS’ Address Change Service. In
order to obtain the IMb, newspapers
will have to have a PostalOne! account,
available through USPS’s Business
Customer Gateway. There are two
IMb levels available, full service and
basic. Hill focused on the basic, which
is what most newspapers will be using. Newspapers that send Standard
Mail pieces and decide against moving
to IMb, Hill said, will need to transfer
numbers from Part D of their PS Form
3602 Postage Statement to Part E.
Also, Carrier Route Mail is exempt
from IMb because it is already bundled
for the carrier and does not have to be
resorted. “Because CR mail does not
need a barcode it wastes time and ink
to print a barcode on these pieces,” he
said. Hill said automation discounts
could save newspapers thousands annually. What to barcode? Periodical
and Standard Mail; 5-digit or coarser
sort 3-digit SCF, ADC, etc.; not Carrier
Route Basic (CAR-RT); not Carrier
Route High Density (CAR-WSH); not
Carrier Route Saturation (CAR-WSS).
Basic vs. Full-Service
IMb with full service may look the
same as the basic IMb, but they do
different things, Hill said. Basic level:
requires compatible software, capable
printing equipment and a mailer ID.
This will fully satisfy the new requirements to claim automation rates. Full
Service: requires a unique serial number requirement that would assign a
tracking code to each mail piece. “The
Postal Service proposed to make it a
requirement (by January 2014), but
that may change.” NNA is opposed to
this requirement for newspapers.
“There is little benefit in this today
… for newspapers to make the transition to full service,” Hill said. Benefits
for basic: automation rates, indication
of service request method for ACS, no
longer required to be elsewhere on the
mail piece. Full service benefits: perpiece discount one-tenth of a cent for
standard and periodical mail. Free
start the clock for tracing and tracking
information. Hill said there is little
interest by community newspapers
in the tracking feature, but that may
be because of the cost of full-service
IMb. He suggests implementing Basic
IMb now. And then watch for full-service requirements and recommendations from NNA, INF and other associations and vendors.
Printing the new labels
A number of the participants attending the Webinar were concerned about
whether their current printers could
handle printing the IMb. Hill said a dot
matrix printer could print the IMb if
it has the right fonts, but there isn’t a
printer on the market that does. Printing in graphics mode on dot matrix
printers is an option with software
support, but it may increase print time
by up to 300 percent. Check specifications for the size of the label. You may
not actually need a new size. Compatible software must be able to generate
the IMb coding and be compatible with
your printing equipment.
Some DOS-based applications may
have issues printing the new labels. Barcode size: Needs larger than
three-inch-wide label. There is no margin for error. Maximum width is 3.475
inches. This includes clear space to
left and right of barcode. The height
is actually a little smaller than current
label.
March to bring special observances
Newspaper in Education Week will
be observed March 4 through 8 at newspapers across the nation. Celebrated
annually during the first full school
week of March, it is a cooperative effort between schools and newspapers
to promote the use of newspapers as
an educational resource.
The Newspaper Association of
America Foundation (NAAF) is the administrative organization, providing
resources and training to newspapers
and educators for using newspapers
in the classroom; helping newspapers
develop plans for promoting and marketing their NIE services; and advocating for newspapers with a variety of
educational partners.
As of our press time, NAAF had not
posted materials, but one can check at
www.naafoundation.org/curriculum/
NIE/NIE-week.aspx in the next several days to find them.
Five Tennessee newspapers are listed as NIE participants on the NIE website: Chattanooga Times Free Press,
Kingsport Times-News, News Sentinel, Knoxville, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, and The Tennessean,
Nashville.
Related is the 16th Read Across
America Day, set for March 1. “Grab
your Hat and Read with the Cat” is the
2013 theme of the National Education
Association (NEA)’s reading promotion. Read Across America returns to
the beloved Dr. Seuss tale of mischief
and celebrating the joy of reading.
NEA is putting together new resources and materials and will be posting
them in the coming weeks. The Read
Across America team is preparing a
new Read Across America calendar
poster, new certificates, bookmarks
and other resources for your celebrations. One can find these at www.nea.
org.
Open government is good government, and Sunshine Week is observed
every year to highlight the ups and
downs of the effort.
During March 10-16, a nationwide
discussion will take place about the
importance of access to public information and what it means for the
people and their communities. Participants include news media, civic
groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools
and others interested in the public’s
right to know.
Sunshine Week 2013 is made possible
thanks to the generous support of
Bloomberg and the John S. and James
L. Knight Foundation.
Materials that can be used in the
news media, articles, editorial cartoons and editorials can be found at
www.sunshineweek.org.
Every mail owner will need a Mailer
ID. Use the 9-digit, not the 6-digit ID,
he said. Go through USPS to get the
Mailer ID.
Obtaining a Gateway Account
First, go to gateway.usps.com (sign
up for new account for Mailer ID), get
the 9-digit ID, good for most newspapers. Request Mailer ID from Design
& Prepare section. The CRID is not
the same as Mailer ID. The Full/basic
service box is the only one you have to
check on Mailer ID program option details. Then select Auto-generate Mailer
ID. With 20 papers you may need more
than one Mailer ID. Assign three to
four newspapers per ID. USPS recommends one Mailer ID per 10 million
pieces mailed annually. Basic IMb is
included at no additional costs from
most vendors. Check with them first.
For full service IMb, it could cost thousands and varies from vendor to vendor. IMb can only work with addresses
having known ZIP + 4 and delivery
point, which can come off the USPS
website.
|
If you are not an NNA member
and want to know about joining, go
to
http://nnaweb.org/who-can-join
or contact Lynn Edinger at 1-800-8294662.
GOAL: $1,000,000
Withholding info illegal, news media say
BY ANITA WADHWANI
AND TONY GONZALES
$700K
$600K
BELIEVERS
Contributors to the TPAF ‘I Believe’ campaign thus far:
$500K
• Gannett Foundation
The Jackson Sun
The Tennessean, Nashville
• Cannon Courier, Woodbury
• Chattanooga Times Free Press
• Nathan Crawford, In Memory of James
Walter Crawford Sr. and C.T. (Charlie)
Crawford Jr.
• Crossville Chronicle, In Memory of
Perry Sherrer
• Jones Media, In Memory of Edith
O’Keefe Susong and Quincy Marshall
O’Keefe
The Advocate & Democrat,
Sweetwater
The Daily Post Athenian, Athens
The Daily Times, Maryville
The Greeneville Sun
The Herald-News, Dayton
The Newport Plain Talk
News-Herald, Lenoir City
The Rogersville Review
• Kennedy Newspapers, Columbia
• Lakeway Publishers, Morristown
Citizen Tribune, Morristown
The Elk Valley Times, Fayetteville
Grundy County Herald, Tracy City
The Herald-Chronicle, Winchester
Manchester Times
The Moore County News, Lynchburg
The Tullahoma News
• The Milan Mirror-Exchange
• News Sentinel, Knoxville
• The Paris Post-Intelligencer, In Memory
of W. Bryant Williams
• Republic Newspapers
The Courier News, Clinton
• Union City Daily Messenger
• Bill and Anne Williams, Paris, in honor of
Michael Williams’ presidency of TPA
Lawsuit seeks DCS files on child deaths
$900K
$800K
$400K
$300K
$285,950
1-13
$200K
$100K
No. 8
FEBRUARY 2013
Vol. 76
The Tennessean, joined by a coalition of the state’s newspapers, television stations and other media organizations, filed a lawsuit Dec. 19 against
the state Department of Children’s
Services (DCS), alleging the agency is
violating the law by refusing to make
public the records of children who
died after being brought to the agency’s attention.
Filed in Davidson County Chancery
Court, the lawsuit asks the court to
order DCS to explain why the records
were not provided. It asks that DCS
immediately give those records to the
court so a judge can review them and
redact any confidential information
and for the records then to be opened
to the public for review.
Tennessean requests over a threemonth period failed to persuade DCS
to open its files on child deaths. In the
first six months of 2012, there were 31
deaths among children ranging from
newborns to teenagers.
“The public has a strong interest
in knowing what actions DCS took –
or failed to take – in order to protect
them,” the lawsuit states.
“This public interest outweighs any
privacy concerns DCS has referred to
in limiting its disclosure of information. The public has a right, under federal and state law, to understand how
children under DCS’s supervision (or
with whom DCS had prior contact)
died and came close to death. DCS’s
disclosure of this information may
help to prevent similar tragedies in
the future.”
First Amendment attorney Robb
Harvey argued Jan. 8 in Davidson
County Chancery Court that Tennessee’s public records law requires the
agency to disclose its files on 151 children who have died since 2009. The
DCS had investigated the children and
confirmed neglect or abuse in 47 cases.
“The public has a strong interest in
knowing what has happened to these
children,” Harvey said. “They were
either in state custody or DCS had an
investigative record on them. They
are our most vulnerable citizens, and
DCS is an important agency. Without
these records, there is no public ac-
INSIDE
WILLIAMS
BALDWIN VISIT
countability here.”
Deputy Attorney General Janet
Kleinfelter disagreed that state law
requires the records to be open. She
said the law requires the department
to provide limited information about
the deaths.
“The general, broad rule is that these
records are confidential,” she said.
“That’s not to protect the state, but to
protect the children and families.”
A dozen news organizations have
joined the suit, creating the largest coalition of Tennessee media organizations – in terms of number, geographic scope, readership and viewership
– ever to file a public records lawsuit,
according to Harvey, an attorney with
Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, representing The Tennessean.
DCS Commissioner Kate O’Day responded to the lawsuit in a written
statement the afternoon of Dec. 19:
“Child safety is our number one priority, and we must protect the rights
of the children and families we work
with. The department has made every
effort to provide information, open access to meetings, and interviews with
staff to what I believe is an unprecedented level while also protecting
those rights,” O’Day wrote. “Our legal
staff, together with the attorney general’s office, has recently reviewed the
legal arguments made by The Tennessean and believes we have produced all
the documents that we can consistent
with the provisions of state and federal law. We support an open improvement process for the department, and
we will continue to work to provide
information, access and interviews to
The Tennessean and other media outlets consistent with the law.”
A spokesman for Gov. Bill Haslam
declined to comment.
The lawsuit describes the Tennessee Public Records Act as “among the
broadest in the country” and says the
Tennessee Supreme Court has been
vigilant in protecting the public’s
right of access.
“We believe the records should be
made public and have worked for
months with DCS to try to get documents. Unfortunately, those efforts,
and examples of similar documents
made public in other states, did not
sway Tennessee officials,” said Maria
2
3
FORESIGHT
OBITS
3-4
4-5, 10
De Varenne, Tennessean executive editor and vice president/news.
“The care and protection of these
children is paramount. Making these
records public would shine a light on
the state’s programs and procedures
– those that are exemplary and those
that need improvement.”
The lawsuit follows the latest DCS refusal to provide records, which arrived
in a letter Dec. 18 in response to a deadline imposed by The Tennessean and a
dozen news organizations that joined
the newspaper’s request for records.
“A full consideration of the legal
arguments and authorities, including
those discussed in your letter of Nov.
28, supports the Department’s determination that it has produced all the
documents that it can consistent with
the provisions of state and federal
law,” Kleinfelter wrote in response to
The Tennessean.
DCS has provided brief summaries
of the child deaths. Instead of providing the case files or records that would
show how casework was reviewed, the
state created spreadsheets, with a single line for each child.
Those disclosures were described
as “woefully inadequate” in a Nov. 28
letter from De Varenne and Harvey to
DCS.
The disclosures contained factual
errors. DCS acknowledged the information it released included incorrect
numbers of children who died and
incorrect dates of death for two of the
children.
The case was assigned to Davidson
County Chancellor Carol McCoy. The
news organizations requested the Jan.
8 hearing.
Others join lawsuit
News organizations joining The Tennessean’s lawsuit include the Knoxville News Sentinel, the Chattanooga
Times Free Press and The (Memphis)
Commercial Appeal.
Nashville TV stations WSMV-Channel 4 and WKRN-Channel 2 joined the
suit, as did WBIR-Channel 10 in Knoxville and WREG-Channel 3 in Memphis.
Also joining the suit are the Associated Press, the Tennessee Press Association, the Tennessee Coalition for
Open Government and the Tennessee
Associated Press Broadcasters.
Knoxville News Sentinel Editor Jack
McElroy said his newspaper joined the
lawsuit because the stakes are high in
how well the agency does its job in protecting children.
“It’s such an important issue because children’s lives are at stake,”
CONVENTION
REMINDER
WHO: Newspaper staff members
WHAT: TPA Winter Convention
and Press Institute
WHEN: Wednesday-Friday, Feb. 6-8
WHERE: DoubleTree Hotel Nashville
Downtown, 315 4th Ave. North
RESERVATIONS: The deadline for
making hotel reservations at the
special TPA rate has passed, but one
can check with the hotel at (615) 2448200.
NOTE
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and University of Tennessee President Joe
DiPietro have confirmed that they will
attend the Thursday, Feb. 7, luncheon
at the TPA Winter Convention and
Press Institute.
McElroy said. “I understand that the
questions are complex, that there are
privacy dimensions as well, but it’s the
responsibility of the press to stand up
for openness and to make sure the government is held accountable and that
decisions are made in the full light of
public awareness.”
Chattanooga Times Free Press Managing Editor Alison Gerber said the
public had a right to know what happened to those children. “It’s something the public has a right to know
SEE LAWSUIT, PAGE 2
SEE LAWSUIT, PAGE 2
CHARLIE DANIEL | NEWS SENTINEL, KNOXVILLE
Daniel
Editorial cartoon for Public Notice Week. See additional material on pages 7 through 9.
ADVERTISING
PUBLIC NOTICE WEEK
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IN CONTACT
Phone: (865) 584-5761
Fax: (865) 558-8687
Online: www.tnpress.com
`