Saturday, September 24, 2016

Tennessee governor tells newspapers that their civic role has never been more important

Bill Haslam ( image)
Newspapers have never been more important in helping the public understand increasingly complex issues, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam told members of the National Newspaper Association as they gathered this week for heir annual convention in Franklin, Tenn., just south of Nashville.

"What you all do has never been as important as it is today," Haslam said, because citizens have more diverse information sources that get less editing, and many that are more aimed at seeking audience through entertainment than providing news.

The Republican governor and former business executive said those factors make it more important than ever to provide "balance and community responsibility. . . . It matters a lot that people understand the issues." He added, "The complexity of those issues is getting greater and greater."

One example Haslam may have had in mind was his desire to expand Medicaid under federal health reform, a plan that has been supported by Tennessee hospitals and other health-care interests but so far has been thwarted by more conservative Republicans.

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