The search is over to replace longtime Free Press editorial page editor Lee Anderson at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The new editor is Drew Johnson, former head of the conservative think tank formerly known as the Tennessee Center for Policy Research (now the Beacon Center).
The TFP’s Managing Editor, Alison Gerber, writes about the change in her Sunday column.
What she doesn’t specify, though, is whether Johnson possesses any skill whatsoever at writing hilariously redundant exclamations to print atop editorial cartoons.
Just an aside: Scottie Mayfield appears to be quite adept at using the media, despite his never having run for office before. First he announced that he was thinking about running; then he announced that he was through thinking, and is going to run.
Now he’s announcing that he’ll make an announcement soon. And that, of course, will be followed by said announcement.
The media, in turn, need to start asking the candidate what he stands for, and why 3rd District voters should choose him to represent them in Washington, D.C.
(I promise to stop with the dairy puns—no later than August 3, 2012. Dates are subject to change under certain conditions.)
Developing story: a tipster says that the Associated Press has discontinued the employment of Bill Poovey, who has been the state bureau’s sole Chattanooga correspondent.
As of this writing, Poovey’s name is still listed on the AP’s Tennessee staff bios page; however, when I placed a phone call to the bureau number and asked for Poovey, I was told by the person who answered, “he no longer works here.”
A source at the Chattanooga Times Free Press confirmed that today is Poovey’s last day. It is unclear whether the AP will have any type of operations in Chattanooga going forward.
I am awaiting full confirmation of this story, and will update this post with additional details as they are available.
The Chattanooga Pulse elevated a few heart rates this week (if mostly among journalists) with its less than conventional interview of congressional candidate Weston Wamp.
The URL that got passed around to bloggers and twitterers went straight to the article’s third page, which happened to comprise only “soft” questions for the candidate. Here’s what greeted those who followed the link:
Several females in our office think you’re, well, hot, and are inclined to vote for you based solely on your dimples and hard body. Do you have a serious girlfriend or are you playing the field?
The interviewer went on to interrogate the young Wamp about his views on style, Facebook, and the McDonald’s restaurant chain’s seasonal “McRib” sandwich.
Wamp is not the only “looker” in his immediate family, it would seem. His sister Coty, then nineteen, was included in The Hill’s annual “50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill” list in 2008.
But does the very existence of such a published list (as well as the Politics1.com survey mentioned in a previous post) indicate a degree of interest among the public in the arguably superficial aspects of political life? Or is this a case of “the tail wagging the dog”?
Should journalists avoid the “fluff,” or should they seek to inform their consumers about a broad range of perspectives into the lives of public figures?
Small newspapers who can’t afford to send their own reporters to Nashville to cover their local legislators can now subscribe to a service that will write and send them articles to run.
According to the marketing text on the company’s site, CapitolNewswatch.com, the company offers small papers “customized, unbiased articles about their legislators’ bills and votes – as well as his or her reaction to proposed statewide legislation – direct from the capitol in Nashville.”
I can say it’s an interesting concept, but I haven’t found any examples of it working yet. Were it to live up to its stated ideals, it could be good for providing the kind of information that so often gets neglected in favor of more revenue-friendly coverage.
But among other questions is this one: how will these reporters-for-hire compare to ones that know the audience they’re writing for back home, and who have the time to cultivate a relationship with the legislative delegation? There may just not be a fully effective substitute for the kind of journalism once enjoyed.