Another day, another story expanding upon the Politico story about “Baby Breitbarts” that highlighted The Tennessee Star. Jason Schwartz talked to Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill a few times, got some insights from those familiar with The Tennessee Star — including critics like the Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini — and earlier this week published a detailed, fair and balanced story.
New York Magazine built from his story without even talking to us.
They declared — without any factual foundation — that our intent is to promote a conservative ideology with no regard to profitability. We charge our advertisers. We want more of them. Contact us ASAP if you would like to become an advertiser! We are profitable, have been profitable from the inception, and want to be even more profitable.
Influencing the political environment; informing readers (and listeners) so they can become more actively engaged and more discerning in the political process; and, exposing the corruption, fecklessness and duplicity of political leaders are all bonuses! And, we might add, a heck of a lot of fun!
Then, Brian Stelter, who hosts CNN’s Reliable Sources, interviewed Gill for his weekday podcast. Again, a fair, entertaining and interesting interview that gave us additional opportunities to share more about what we are doing, how we are doing it and what we have planned going forward. Along the way, Jason Schwartz even discovered that we have already secured web domains for versions of the Star in other states.
Finally, Julia Waldow of CNN, did a story for CNN Money that focused on our business model. She didn’t talk to us, but used significant portions of the solid and factually accurate Stelter interview and then cited the New York Magazine article, which claimed that we see The Tennessee Star “primarily as a tool for influence (as opposed to profits).”
To her credit, Waldow specifically noted that “despite” what the New York Magazine reported, it is not our view and that we do plan “to make money.” (Hopefully, lots of it.)
One of the problems with many in the Mainstream Media (dare we say #fakenews media) is their willingness to rely on other reporters who share their ideology as the basis for their reporting without doing direct investigation/reporting themselves.
New York Magazine could have called us.
We would have been happy to answer their questions.
That’s what we did with Politico and CNN’s Reliable Sources. That is how journalism is supposed to work.
We at the Tennessee Star often share links to and quotes from other media outlets. Hopefully, we have avoided and will try to avoid reaching conclusions that are based on “facts not in evidence” — or which we haven’t at least confirmed. It is a cautionary tale for everyone in media: don’t assume that someone else has confirmed the facts, before you repeat “facts.”
We appreciate the coverage we received this week, including the story in New York Magazine.
Yes, we have a conservative viewpoint that underlies our stories and what we choose to cover with the start-up resources we have developed in the short 14 months since we launched.
We don’t, however, adjust the facts to fit our perspective. (We have even critiqued our own polls from time to time.)
The real difference between The Tennessee Star and most of the “mature” journalistic ventures across the state is that we don’t pretend that we don’t have a conservative perspective. In a decidedly “red” state, filling an empty ideological void with that kind of honesty has fueled over 7 million visits so far…and we are still just a “baby” — but growing fast!