Mon
Nov 7 2016
08:45 am

I could sum candidate information up with one word..."Crickets"...

There is, however, headline coverage of death, destruction, a tax increase, and a man, by his actions, single handedly responsible for ending the Constable system in Roane County.

rcn

It appears that the role of local newspapers in public policy and elections has deteriorated into one of National Enquirer style yellow journalism and paid advertisements.

In one ad Kent Calfee now seems to be running against "Obamacare", which is very odd since he voted FOR "Insure TN", which is..."Obamacare". The fact that it did not pass is the single largest reason why dozens of local hospitals have closed and insurance rates have gone way up. As a result our tax money goes out of the state and doesn't return. His ad says this is a good thing, somehow. If Kent fell off his tractor and got banged up, it would probably be front page news. His policies are a mystery to people who rely on our local news paper for crucial information. If you rely on his ads for information you would believe he is a solid conservative, when in fact he is the lowest ranked Republican Representative in the state by conservative groups.

I happen to think that's a good thing. Why pretend otherwise?

Does a reader of the RCN have any idea what the policy difference in our Congressional candidates is? No.

There has been a small amount of coverage of the local candidates but nothing of the depth and detail voters need to make a decision.

Tomorrow is Tuesday November 8 and will be an incredibly significant and historic national and local election day. If you haven't voted early, please educate yourself by going to candidate web sites, call them and ask questions, or something, because you won't learn enough to make a decision from our local news sources.

And VOTE!

News, News, News

A child is killed getting off the school bus. That's a tragedy Its also news. Several accidents last week at a notorious intersection. That's news. Might even save someone's life if readers are warned to be cautious when driving in that location.

The bottom half of the front page is devoted to election issues including early vote turnout and an important tax issue on the Harriman ballot.

All the issues in the local elections have been covered in RCN over the past few months including those raised at the candidate forums, which the newspaper attends even when the candidates and the citizens don't. As an added bonus for voters the extracurricular activities of the candidates have also been covered.

That Constable system...? That was really working out well wasn't it? What a shame they had to put a stop to it not just in Roane County but in many counties across the state.

Read the newspaper, then get out and vote.

Can voters make a good decision based on RCN coverage?

Frankly,the media disease of our time is "He said, she said reporting" with little actual investigation. It is the rule of the day. It's like journalism has been replaced by repeating gossip. I've seen some improvement recently but there's a great distance to be covered if we are going to have a knowledgeable electorate.

As for coverage of issues...Saying it doesn't make it so. For that matter, you know full well that where you put information in a column affects how it is perceived or if it is perceived at all.

Has the Roane County News covered the bills our legislators have voted on? The money they've received from which lobbyist? Educating the electorate is a continuous process. Whose job is it t educate people on the effects of being against Insure Tennessee/Obamacare, for instance. Whose job is it to let them know that an incumbent candidate's ads are against "Obamacare" when they voted for it in the last legislative session?

The RCN has always seemed to have had a bad news first presentation. Is that going to continue? I realize that the distant corporate owners dictate much of how it is run and keep it short on funds, siphoning the gravy off to feed the stockholders. So much so that the RCN building may be the ugliest most decrepit eyesore in our community. I realize that the RCN operates under a financial handicap but must it continually make our community look bad?

We have some very good things constantly happening here but they seem to be pushed to the back pages if covered at all.

The short answer is yes

The RCN has covered issues voted on by the elected representatives in Nashville including bills on plice dash cam and body cam footage, pain clinics, a whole bunch of things.

As for all that gravy that goes back to the corporate hq This is the newspaper business. There's hardly enough profit to keep the lights on and the presses running. More than 95% of the gross revenue goes right back to Roane County to pay salaries of people who work for the paper and live here, bills to local utilities and other suppliers. When we take advertisers out to lunch they are Roane County advertisers and they eat in Roane County restaurants. We cover Roane County government and Roane County Sports, we publish two or three community stories that show the best of Roane County for every "bad news" story. RCN cant ignore the fact that accidents happen, people get arrested and sometimes even murdered in this county. That what makes the newspaper a "news" paper.

RCN editors like to hear feedback from readers. We take seriously all cooments good and bad and recognize that we can always get better.

I guess we're having a

I guess we're having a disagreement as to what constitutes coverage. Technically, those things have been mentioned, some more in depth than others.

But let me ask this...

People who are thinking about moving to Roane County often subscribe to the Roane County News to form an opinion about our county. Do you think the RCN gives an accurate portrayal of what life here is like?

I've been answering this question for 36 years

I started working in the newspaper business at The Boston Globe in 1980. I've had this discussion a thousand times. Newspapers don't shape reality and they don't doistoprt reality. The newspapers are a reflection of what is going on in the community. All communities are a mixture of good and bad., If the newspaper is going to accurately reflect what's happening in the community it is going to show a mix of good and bad. I think the good outweighs the bad in Roane County. I watch the balance in every issue and I think the Roane County News reflects that reality. In order to understand what I am saying you would have to actually read all the stories in RCN. If you do I think you'll discover that RCN shows the best side of Roane County.

I think you are fooling

I think you are fooling yourself. Why don't you just write the headlines down over the next few months and see how many are positive and negative. Weight them according to the presence in your news paper and let's see.

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Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid / TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.