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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tennessean to Cover More Diversity and Social Justice Issues

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I saw this classified ad on a journalism Web site today. I sent it to my friends who work in the social justice community in Nashville so that they can see what The Tennessean is planning in terms of its coverage of social issues. This might be a chance for more of you activists and organizers to tell your stories. Things might be looking up in Nashville.

Job Description:
The Tennessean and Tennessean.com are seeking an aggressive reporter to cover diversity and social issues. Nashville is a boomtown in growing Middle Tennessee, with great stories to be told about the people who are drawn here and how they are affecting longtimers. We are seeking a reporter who can tell these stories, on the streets and as a watchdog. Five years of solid beat coverage at a daily newspaper are a must. Multimedia, database skills and Spanish fluency will be a big plus. Please send a cover letter, resume, clips and some story ideas to Ricky Young, city editor, The Tennessean, 1100 Broadway, Nashville, TN, 37203. You can also e-mail ryoung@tennessean.com, with diversity in the subject line.

2 comments:

Gregory said...

This must be a sick joke. I am with a Nashville African American social justice organization, Power to the People, and we can't get anything printed.

In our opinion, the Tennesseean is an old line white establishment newspaper, which carefully picks the stories it allows in print. For instance, Mike Murrow, editorial staff, contacted us a few weeks ago to make an op-ed comment on behalf of the new formed Nashville Bus Riders Union (which we created with others)for a piece in a paper about the upcoming fare hikes and service cuts to go in effect on July 1, 2008.

However, when we replied, charging that the cuts and fare hike were racially discriminatory, and that the agency was falsely certifying its need for extra funding, Murrow later "changed his mind" about allowing us to comment. [Later we found out that MTA's Communications Director had a campaign going to contact local media to "warn" them of having us on tv/radio talk shows or printing our articles.]

They had already refused to do any article on our filing a civil rights complaint to the federal government about MTA operations, and refused to do any real reporting on the deaths of two children in local juvenile justice facilities, and the discovery of the abuse of over 500 children in state facilities by staff in March 2008.

There is no question that the Tenneseean engages in censorship of any stories by and about African Americans which really criticize the white political establishment, unless it comes from the "usual suspects", the NAACP and other Black middle class organizations.

Since the gatekeepers at the Tennessean refuse to publish our articles or press releases, we have decided to do a blog "The Rest of The News" to cover all of our events and perspectives, and to harshly criticize the Nashville establishment media, especially the Nashville Tennessean!

Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

Gregory,
Thank you so very much for commenting on this post.

I highly value the opinion of the people who live in Nashville and all other cities. I have been out of the loop regarding Nashville happenings for some time. I moved to Charlotte last summer and haven't been reading the Tennessean.

Would you mind if I post your comments about this as a current post. Of course I would give you credit (I would include your last name also, if you would like.) Also, I would contact the Tennessean to get a comment from Mike Murrow. Please let me know. You can also send me an e-mail to: Ramalicia@aol.com

Thanks again and peace,
Alicia