Rep. Jay Reedy, sponsor of the anti-sanctuary city legislation passed by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly, has asked The Tennessean’s editor to correct “incomplete and misleading information” in two of the newspaper’s articles written about his bill.
In support of his request, Reedy cited to the Principles of Ethical Conduct for Newsrooms posted on the paper’s website:
WE ARE COMMITTED TO:
I. Seeking and reporting the truth in a truthful way
- We will be honest in the way we gather, report and present news – with relevancy, persistence, context, thoroughness, balance, and fairness in mind.
- We will seek to gain understanding of the communities, individuals and issues we cover to provide an informed account of activities.
- We will hold factual information in editorials and other opinion pieces to the same standards of accuracy as news stories.
- We will treat information from unofficial sources, which may include social media, with skepticism and will seek to corroborate information.
- When considering news content created outside of the Network, we will factor the credibility of the source and weigh the value and accuracy of information provided.
Specifically, Reedy’s letter points to two stories which omitted a key fact leaving readers to believe that a constitutional issue remained attached to his bill even though the language in question had been removed from the bill.
Reedy points out in his letter that the two articles were written after the bill was amended and new version was available to the public and to the reporter. He also notes that the legislative attorney named in The Tennessean article is the same attorney with whom Reedy worked to amend the bill’s language:
First, Mr. Munday’s statement in committee was not an absolute as the article suggests.
More importantly, it should be noted that Mr. Munday and I worked together to remove the language that he speculated could be of concern. That language is not in the bill that was passed by the Tennessee General Assembly and sent to the Governor.
Reedy has asked that a correction be issued and published “in a location easily found by readers” but has not yet received a response to his letter.