Everything you need to know about Tennessee open records

Deborah Fisher, executive director of TCOG.
Deborah Fisher, executive director of TCOG.

Deborah Fisher, executive director of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government (TCOG), will review legislative changes to the public records act in the past three years, as well as some key court decisions regarding access at an East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists meeting on tonight (Oct. 25).

Join us!

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the Knox Room of the Knoxville News Sentinel, 2332 News Sentinel Drive. It is open to the public and anyone interested in open records issues is encouraged to attend.

The Tennessee Coalition for Open Government seeks to preserve, protect and improve citizen access to public information and open government in Tennessee through an alliance of citizens, journalists and civic groups.

Since its inception in 2003, TCOG has provided training and presentations to more than 2,400 people and offered on-the-spot free guidance to more than 1,200 citizens and journalists. It has conducted research into open government issues, providing education to citizens, journalists and lawmakers.

Is it part of the National Freedom of Information Coalition.

Fisher has been TCOG executive director since November 2013.

She spent 25 years as a journalist, holding positions of reporter, city editor, business editor, managing editor and executive editor at newspapers in Texas and Tennessee. Most recently she worked for a decade for The Tennessean, where she was senior editor for news. She is a past president of the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Plex just keeps getting better

I’ve been using Plex for several months now and it just got news.

Coupled with the iOS app, I use it as a personal Spotify. I find it less compelling for streaming video, but I don’t own a lot of video to stream. It does photos, but there may be better alternatives. it is a great way to organize all media.

I don’t think it’s a Netflix or Amazon Video competitor, but the addition of news services does make it even more useful.

I use it on a QNAP NAS, but there are number of ways to host your own Plex server, including a cloud option. Check it out.

Journalist training opp coming up in Knoxville

Journalism Writing Workshop with Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute on Saturday, October 7, 2017, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Scripps Convergence Lab, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. To register, contact contact Brenda Heidt at brenda@tabtn.org, or (615) 365-1840.

Can I take photos of public records?

Even Tennessee lawmakers sometimes tire of government open records silliness.

During a meeting of the Tennessee Legislature’s Joint Government Operations Committee earlier this week, Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, asked representatives of the Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury, the Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to ensure their open records policies allow residents to take photographs of public.

The music business is back; are there clues for news?

The music business has been growing for the last few years after going into a decline in 1999. And it doesn’t have to do with buying MP3s .

The news and music industries have long been compared; they were disrupted by the Internet at about the same time and forever changed.

Are there still lessons to be learned between the two industries. Would a “Spotify model” work for news? Some efforts have been tried and failed from traditional media companies, the tech powers that control the platforms and entrepreneurial startups.

Music Sales by format