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Editorials

  • Ruling means press might pay to stream games

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    When the nation’s Founders protected press freedom, they had never heard of public high school football games. If they had, they probably would have understood the desire of a free press to cover them. But the press has run into a little trouble with that of late.

  • Women’s equality remains only a goal in workplace

    By MARIANNE HILL
    American Forum
    Women’s Equality Day, Aug. 26, is both a celebration of women’s progress and a reminder that equality remains a goal, not a reality.
    On this day in 1920, women gained the right to vote under the 19th Amendment.
    Today, more than 90 years later, the struggle to advance women’s rights is concentrated on the economic front — with an end to discrimination against women in the labor force a critical, and hotly debated, objective.

  • As West looks to control tweets, China squawks

    By KEN PAULSON
    First Amendment Center
    The use of social media to organize and fuel riots in Great Britain has led some Western public officials to speculate about limits on BlackBerry messages, Twitter and Facebook.
    Such talk has not gone unnoticed by more-repressive nations.
    Chinese media have claimed hypocrisy by the West and have used the news events as justification for “proper web monitoring.”
    From Xinhua, China’s state-run news organization:

  • Engaging change – why a policy was altered

    Things change.
    Sometimes, in response, we have to change, too.
    Few words could be truer when talking about people … and even newspapers.
    Here at the Roane County News, we like to reason things out when we set any kind of policy.
    But sometimes, even after they were made with careful thought, we see flaws or omissions in our policies.
    We find points we hadn’t thought about, and we consider changes.
    Last week we made an alteration to our policy concerning the publication of engagements between couples planning to marry.

  • Police can’t call shots on news photography

    By KEN PAULSON
    First Amendment Center
    At crime scenes, the police are in charge.
    They can and do tell journalists and the public where to stand so as not to interfere with an ongoing investigation.
    Problems arise, though, when the police literally try to call the shots, telling photographers what they can and cannot shoot.
    As a former police reporter, I know that this is not a new issue. Oddly enough, most clashes occurred over matters of taste.

  • Another chance for TVA to build up public trust

    It was nice to attend a TVA meeting Tuesday where the public’s mood wasn’t angry and the tone was generally upbeat.
    TVA held the meeting at First Baptist Church in Kingston to reveal more details for recreation offerings in the area where the massive 2008 ash spill forced many in the Swan Pond community to have to move.
    The ash spill also left lingering doubts about safety in and around TVA facilities.
    TVA officials are well aware that there is nothing they can do to completely erase those doubts and misgivings.

  • Norway’s crusader for Christendom is no Christian

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    Within hours of the recent mass murder in Norway, headlines around the world proclaimed the accused killer, Anders Behring Breivik, a “Christian terrorist.”
     The “Christian” label apparently came from initial statements by a Norwegian police official describing Breivik as a right-wing, Christian fundamentalist – a characterization based on the official’s quick read of Breivik’s Internet postings.

  • Salute the Bill of Rights and save on legal bills

    By KEN PAULSON
    First Amendment Center
    Here we go again.
    In a familiar legal skirmish, a judge has once again told a local government that it has to remove a Ten Commandments monument from public grounds because it violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
    Senior District Judge Maurice Paul ordered Dixie County, Fla., officials to remove the monument from the grounds of the courthouse in Cross City.

  • Bipartisan effort on budget mess is appreciated

    We were pleased to see that Lamar Alexander, the U.S. senator from Tennessee, was one of a handful of elected officials working in a bipartisan fashion to end the national budget standoff that has been threatening to crumble our economy.
    These are shaky economic times, and while blancing the budget sounds good, cutting spending and programs now could easily send our situation into the kind of crash that could wreak worldwide disaster.
    Alexander and his “Gang of Six” senators are to be commended for putting the American people ahead of political lines.

  • Should public officials govern our free speech?

    By KEN PAULSON
    First Amendment Center
    There’s not a lot of free speech in most workplaces. The First Amendment provides that government cannot limit our speech, but we don’t enjoy the same liberty where we work.
    If you doubt that, you may want to try to petition your boss for a redress of grievances and then organize a march to his office to make your point.
    Chances are your free speech will end up giving you more free time than you ever intended.