Friday, November 9, 2018
Below is an excerpt from a story in the "Nashville Scene." The story has been reported in several other on-line sites across the country.
Editors at the Gannett chain’s papers around the country were informed two weeks ago that deadlines for the print edition could not be extended in order to cover elections. As a result, Wednesday’s editions of The Tennessean, Commercial Appeal and Knoxville News-Sentinel will not have final results for some of the most closely contested statewide races in years.
Gannett had already moved The Tennessean’s deadlines up to 7 p.m. earlier this year, and as a result, the print edition did not have coverage in August of the state’s first execution in a decade. Now, editorial staffs have been told to close their editions within 45 minutes of polls closing, long before any definitive results can be tabulated.
“It is not entirely accurate that we are foregoing election coverage in print — it will be much more limited than in the past — but I understand the point of your questioning,” says Tennessean vice president and editor Michael Anastasi. “We do not believe print is a vehicle for breaking news. Our focus there is on context, analysis and enterprise reporting, as well as, more broadly, watchdog and investigative reporting.
Gannett is a huge chain, and it owns some big newspapers in major cities. All papers went to bed at their usual time. If you want election results, go to a web site or watch television.
I know I am part of a shrinking minority, but I still get a kick out of hearing that newspaper thump on the front porch every morning, even though my newspaper has a lousy delivery system. I miss the afternoon paper, too.
Pushing back a deadline is something papers did to get the latest numbers. I can understand focusing on context, but a major chain of American newspapers just did something to make themselves even more dispensable. What's that hammering I hear? It's another nail in the coffin.
AT 12:00 AM