media

Four honored by TN Journalism Hall of Fame

News release from Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame

MURFREESBORO-The Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame will honor four outstanding journalists during induction ceremonies Tuesday, August 15, at 4:30 pm during the 69th Conference of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters at Murfreesboro’s Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center. This will mark the fifth class to be inducted into the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame located at Middle Tennessee State University.

This year’s inductees include a Vietnam veteran combat reporter who served in Afghanistan, and later reported for the Nashville Banner and Tennessean; a capitol hill retired Bureau Chief who covered Tennessee politics for over 40 years; a retired three time Tennessee Sports Writer of the year; and the first African American news broadcaster who originally planned to earn his master’s degree from Tennessee State University in theater, study drama in New York, but instead became the recognized radio voice for people across multiple southern States via WLAC-AM radio in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Haslam names Reen Baskin as communications director

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Reen Baskin will become the new communications director for his administration, a Cabinet-level position on his senior staff.

“As a trusted and valuable member of this administration since my first year in office, Reen is incredibly talented and hard-working, and I’m excited to have her take on this new role in the administration,” Haslam said. “Her knowledge and experience with the many facets of state government will serve our communications efforts – both internal and external – well.”

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Corker advises Trump to fire everybody involved with leaks to media

Sen. Bob Corker says the Trump administration should fire anyone connected with the leak of information to media such as transcripts of the president’s conversations with foreign leaders that were published Thursday, reports the News Sentinel.

During a press conference in Washington D.C., Corker said he had advised President Donald Trump and John F. Kelley, the new chief of staff, “to fire every single person that’s had anything whatsoever to do with backbiting, undermining other people for their own benefit and leaking – and not to be cautious about it.”

“If there’s even a thought that somebody was involved, get rid of them,” the Tennessee Republican added.

Corker, who has been a staunch ally of the Trump White House, rose his voice and shook his arms while talking about the leaks that have repeatedly brought turmoil to the administration.

“It is unseemly what is happening at the White House right now – or what has been happening,” Corker said. “These people should be fired, they should be out of government — they are disloyal to our government — and I hope that’s what’s gonna happen.”

TN museum staff ‘off the deep end’ in blocking access to public records?

A Tennessee State Museum staffer snatched an agenda packet for Monday’s meeting of the museum’s governing board from a reporter’s hand and declared she would have to file a formal open records request to see one, according to the Nashville Scene.

The reporter was Cari Wade Gervin, who (after the episode) penned an article on the Douglas Henry State Museum Commission’s vote at the Monday meeting to adopt a new code of ethics that former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe,  a member of the board who was absent at the session, labeled “a gag order.” It puts new restrictions on commission members speaking publicly about museum operations. (Previous post HERE.)

Excerpt from the Scene’s report (under a headline declaring, ‘State Museum staff hiding records from public’):

Gervin went to pick up a meeting agenda packet and was informed that she would have to file a written open records request with the Attorney General’s office to see one. When she tried to take a picture of one, it was grabbed out of her hand by Mary Skinner, the museum’s media relations officer. When House Speaker Beth Harwell, a commission member, gave Gervin her copy, museum staff attempted to take that one, too.

To be clear: A state employee attempted to stop a member of the press from reading a public record that should be made readily available to the public. This is actually against the law.

… “It looks like it’s an intentional attempt to keep information from the public,” says Deborah Fisher, executive director of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government. “This commission has gone off the deep end.”

Note: Ashe is also a member of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government board of directors. He says notice of the proposal to adopt a new code of ethics was not sent to museum commission members (via email) until 1 a.m. on Sunday morning, when the meeting was scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday.

UPDATE: On Friday, Museum Executive Director Ashley Howell sent out this statement: “In the future, the Tennessee State Museum will proactively provide all members of the media copies of agendas and accompanying materials for each Commission meeting in keeping with the practice of most state agencies. The museum’s management values transparency, and we will work diligently to abide by the state’s open records act.  We appreciate and value the role of the press, and we welcome coverage of museum business.”

Poll finds more Tennesseans trust Trump than Haslam, Alexander or Corker

A poll conducted by the Office of Consumer Research at Middle Tennessee State University’s Jones College of Business reports that the surveyed Tennesseans trust President Donald Trump a bit more than Gov. Bill Haslam.

Overall, Trump had the trust of 38 percent of those polled and Haslam 35 percent. Both were well ahead of U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander (27 percent) and Bob Corker (28 percent). But the two senators were, in turn, well ahead of the U.S. Congress overall (18 percent). There are also some interesting findings on trust of media outlets.

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Knoxville alternative newspaper shutting down (as did its predecessor)

The Knoxville Mercury, established as an “alternative” weekly newspaper and website after the the alternative weekly Metro Pulse was closed in 2014, is now shutting down as well. Editor Coury Turczyn, formerly editor of Metro Pulse, writes in a website posting that the last issue will appear July 20.

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Duncan bashes Washington Post reporter in House floor speech

Republican U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr., who earlier this year said President Donald Trump was wrong in declaring the press an “enemy of the people,” on Tuesday delivered a brief House floor speech denouncing The Washington Post and its White House bureau chief, Philip Rucker.

Duncan singled out a Tuesday article by Rucker bearing the headline “Trump reacts to London terror by stoking fear and renewing feud with mayor.

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David Smith exits as Haslam director of communications

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced that David Smith, his director of communications and one of the longest serving members of his staff, will leave the administration in August to start his own business as a communications consultant.

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Open records lawsuit seeks documents on failed Fall Creek Falls State Park privatization effort

The Nashville Post and Nashville Scene, sister publications with the same ownership, have filed a lawsuit in Davidson County Chancery Court against the state Department of General Services under Tennessee’s Open Records Act, contending officials wrongfully refused to release documents related to a failed attempt at outsourcing operation of the Fall Creek Falls State Park Inn.

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Politico notes Harold Ford Jr’s 47th birthdaay

It’s former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr.’s 47th birthday and Politico takes note of the occasion. He moved to New York after losing to Bob Corker in the 2006 U.S. Senate race and, among other things, is now a regular commentator on the national TV talk political talk show circuit. Excerpt:

“I got my start watching my dad hold Saturday afternoon office time as a 1st and 2nd term congressman in grocery stores and gymnasiums in Memphis. I was 4, 5 and 6 years old and would go with him every Saturday. He taught me what the core of public service really is — trying to use power and influence to solve the problems of the least and unmighty. To me, that’s what politics is.”

Just guessing, but Corker probably didn’t send a card.

ABOUT THIS BLOG

Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.

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