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Editorials

  • News critics still have plenty of options out there

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    After 40 years on the job, the Minnesota News Council is closing down.
    Council President Tony Carideo has said public complaints are down and so is corporate support for the independent news-review operation.
    Carideo noted that e-mail and Twitter now provide  virtually instantaneous ways for people to raise their concerns directly with journalists — presumably in contrast to the relatively lengthy notification-and-hearing process involved in council proceedings.

  • Yette – a Roane Countian all should know

    We were saddened by the death last month of Samuel F. Yette, a man whose influence still will be felt decades from now.
    Yette, a Harriman man who was schooled at Rockwood’s famed Campbell High School for black children, left his mark as a journalist.
    He covered many significant Civil Rights Era events for Newsweek magazine and also for LIFE magazine.
    He lost his job at Newsweek after he wrote his plain-spoken, then-controversial book, “The Choice: Black Survival in the United States.”

  • Adequate notice is a treasure for democracy

    By BILL WILLIAMS
    The Paris Post-Intelligencer
    Most people probably pay little attention to public notices in newspapers. But — like the fire department that’s out of mind until you need it — they fill an essential role in good government.

  • Public notice helps all keep watch on government

    By FRANK GIBSON
    A government reform commission in Virginia has recommended abolishing the 10-year-old Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council as a way to streamline government and save money.

  • Communities continue to rely on newspapers

    MANCHESTER TIMES
    Founding father Thomas Jefferson said in 1787, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have government without newspapers, or newspapers without government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
    In small towns across America, Mr. Jefferson’s words seem to ring true today. A study recently released by the National Newspaper Association shows that communities served by local newspapers continue to demonstrate heavy reliance upon their local papers for news and information.

  • Haslam order a slap in the face of Tennesseans

    After the inaugural celebration for Gov. Bill Haslam this weekend, the new governor turned and immediately slapped the face of the public who elected him.
    He signed three executive orders that, according to a news release from his office, were intended to set out his commitment to transparency and openness in state government.
    Some commitmment.
    Included in those orders was language that eliminates the governor and his top aides from having to disclose how much they earn in outside income.

  • Why banning bulls-eye would be wrong

    By KEN PAULSON
    First Amendment Center
    A Pennsylvania congressman is targeting bull’s-eyes.
    In the wake of the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and the murder of federal Judge John Roll, Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pa., told The New York Times that he plans legislation that would ban language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening federal officials and members of Congress.

  • Power outage comes with an opportunity

    First of all, we’d like to express our thanks to the Rockwood Electric Utility crews who spent hours working in the cold Saturday.
    A pole fire sent parts of Kingston and Midtown into a blackout on a very cold day. Even worse, many people were without any heat for more than five hours.
    While we appreciate the work that was put in to get the power restored, we think the widespread outage on Saturday lends an opportunity for improvement.

  • University wise to rethink open records policy

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Let’s begin 2011 on a hopeful note: Texas A&M University officials say they will revisit a recent decision that would have banned journalism instructors from directing students in filing open-records requests about — of all things — Texas A&M policies and practices.
    At Tarleton State University, one of 19 Texas schools and agencies in the A&M state system, journalism instructors have for years taught their students how to file such requests.
    Not surprisingly, Tarleton State students have done that very thing.

  • Land donation a substantial gift to Roane

    Some Roane County News readers love Gerald Largen’s column, A View from Lick Skillet.
    Others clearly love to hate it.
    Whatever anyone thinks of Largen’s opinions, any Roane County resident has to appreciate his recent deeds.
    Largen has taken steps to donate his more than 100 acres of rural land on Watts Bar Lake and Bowman Bend Road to the state for public use.