Feb 6 2008

KNS Editor Jack McElroy's blog: The Upfront Page

To the extent that I played a role in the election, I did so in my professional capacity as editor of the paper. That's my job, and I'm privileged and grateful to have it. But I am just one of many at the News Sentinel who have worked together for the past year to hold Knox County accountable to its citizenry. By virtue of the desk I sit in, it was my name that went on the sunshine suit, and I've tried to handle the other duties of an editor to the best of my ability. Many others played equally important or greater roles, however.


But the outcome of the election wasn't a victory for the News Sentinel, either. Sure, elections are exciting, and it's fun -- and newsworthy -- to report upsets and surprises. But the newspaper that judges its success on the outcome elections is doomed to failure.

However, there was a number tallied Tuesday to which the News Sentinel may proudly point: 91,064. That was the number of ballots cast. We, as newspaper and editor, won if we helped stir voter interest and provide citizens with the information they felt they needed to cast ballots. And this year, I think we accomplished that goal.

I wish...

I wish that our "hometown paper" would take their duty as seriously as the KNS, and realize they are accountable to print all news, whether it is complimentary to their "friends" in power or not.

"Journalistic and Judicial Fortitude"

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. Voltaire.

Yes, the real victory was the voter turnout and Jack McElroy's insistence through journalism excellence that first amendment freedoms were protected together with the public's right to know. No, Mr. McElroy, it is not fun, but it is necessary in a free society, and I commend KNS and its attorneys, and in particular Rick Hollow, for its public stance.

The News-Sentinel became involved in controversial litigation in contrast to the cowardice of the DT management (i.e. the Wright case). Blount County will cease to be a 'backwater county' ONLY when the public's right to know is protected and the laws of the state of Tennessee uniformly enforced within its boundaries regardless of party politics and affiliations. As I have previously stated, Blountviews has given persons otherwise disenfranchised by the mainstream media to disseminate their views in Blount County-a blessing of the internet.

By way of contrast, I was involved in litigation today in a county north of Knox with a similar population base where a judge did not hesitate to call a governmental entity on the carpet for dropping the ball. One could only imagine if that same type of fortitude existed in BC . . . I have not heard the word 'backwater' used to intimate the consciousness of the communities in this county.


PS: On a positive note, Hon. Mike Meares has exercised fortitude lately in his public stance on refusing campaign contributions from attorneys and he is to be commended for having the fortitude demanded by the leader of the opposition party in BC.

Thomas F. Mabry
P. O. Box 52385
Knoxville, TN 37950

Fax 1-888-215-3119
Phone 1-865-271-9224


it is not fun, but it is necessary in a free society

Thank you for taking interest in our county. I know people who would otherwise hear only what our local publishers/editors want them to hear appreciate your expertise.

My roots

My roots run deep in BC . . . anyone who knows about Sunshine being adjacent to Kinzel Springs would know how BC used to be . . . I worked on the old Municipal Building in my youth and wrote a poem about my times in BC . . . sure, I'm interested, professionally and personally, probably moreso than most . . . thanks for the validation . . . there are some awesome people in BC who don't much like the status quo, either . . .


Thomas F. Mabry
P. O. Box 52385
Knoxville, TN 37950

Fax 1-888-215-3119
Phone 1-865-271-9224

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