Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Would a Local Newspaper Please Cover the News?

With the National Conference of State Legislatures holding its annual meeting in Nashville, one might expect that the local paper of record would provide extensive coverage, particularly with regard to issues discussed at the conference that have relevance to the state of Tennessee.

One might expect. One might be disappointed.

In fact, The Tennessean provided no coverage of a two hour session yesterday entitled "Critical Health Topics: Lessons from Tennessee." The session, moderated by state representative David Shepard, featured presentations by state Safety Net Director Susan Cooper, DMA Health Strategies President Dr. Richard Daugherty, and XL Health Tennessee CMO Dr. David Hollis.

However, the paper did find time and space to talk about the name of Arizona legislator Jake Flake and to explain why attendees won't get goodie bags.

Had a reporter managed to cover the event, they might have found any number of angles for a story: what the governor's office is saying to people from other states about why TennCare failed, future goals for CoverTennessee, the impact of disenrollment from TennCare on mental health patients, the use of disease management methodologies and technology to cut health care costs, why Tennessee is refusing federal funds in some of its current safety net strategies, the reactions of leaders from other states to the TennCare fiasco, and so on.

But, evidently, only those in Nashville who read this blog will even know that the session happened.

If any Tennessee newspaper would like me to write articles on my observations at the meetings, feel free to e-mail me at the address in the sidebar. I only write informally in this blog, but I believe that I can write in a style more appropriate for news. With an editor, I surely could work it out. I could at least find something to cover.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have to have local reporters to cover local news. The Tennessean obviously doesn't want anyone to know who their reporters are since they only put their intials in the by-lines; AP, UPI. The only reporter with guts enough to use their real name at the Tennessean is some guy named Reuters; but even he won't use his first name!

9:58 AM  
Blogger Donna Locke said...

Oracle, even when some of us try to cover the news, particularly legislative news, for The Tennessean by putting it in a letter to the editor, we can't get it published. They're just not interested, baby. Face it.

10:31 PM  

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