Monthly Archives: September 2013

911 tapes can be painful, but must be public

The Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission this week ruled in favor of an appeal by The Associated Press, ordering the release of the 911 tapes from the Newtown shooting. The prosecutor investigating the school massacre had refused to release the tapes saying victims and witnesses “shouldn’t have to worry that their calls for help in their most vulnerable moments will become fodder for the evening news.”

It is certainly easy to sympathize with callers who are thrust into such horrible circumstances. At one time, Tennessee was considering exempting 911 tapes from the state’s Public Records Act for that very reason. Such privacy concerns are legitimate, and any media outlet that does obtain such tapes must act with respect toward the citizens involved.

But barring the public from reviewing 911 tapes also can shield from scrutiny wrongdoing by officials. For instance, a couple of years ago the News Sentinel discovered that a Campbell County deputy had tried to keep a state trooper away from the scene of a crash caused by one of the Sheriff’s Department’s own detectives, who was drunk. The story wouldn’t have been possible, and the truth wouldn’t have been known, if the tape of the emergency call had been kept under wraps.

Oct. 1 News Sentinel will be on pink paper

Tuesday’s paper will be a bit unusual. We are printing on pink newsprint to help call attention to the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Breast cancer remains the second leading cause of death in women. Almost everyBreast Cancer Awareness ribbonone knows friends or family members who have battled the disease; about one in eight women develop breast cancer during their lifetimes.
The great news is that there are more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States today, and the successes in the fight against breast cancer keep mounting.
The stories of several breast cancer survivors also will be featured in the Oct. 1 paper, and on knoxnews.com and govolsxtra.com.

‘The List’ examines segments of Knoxville marketplace

Did you know one-third of all manufacturing jobs in Tennessee support the automotive industry? I didn’t until I read Shelley Kimel’s weekly “The List” feature on Knoxvillebiz.com.
For the Shelley Kimelpast 10 years, the News Sentinel has been publishing The Book of Lists, a directory that ranks local businesses in dozens of industry categories. More recently, though, Kimel, one of our business writers, began producing a digital feature dissecting one of the lists each week, examining how the rankings have changed in the past year. She often creates an interactive map, as well.
Her most recent list ranked local auto-parts manufacturers.  Other recent lists have looked at independent insurance agencies, hospital and physician groupsmedia production companies, and life science and medical device firms.