OK, so I've been ranting on Twitter at the four large dailies in Tennessee--the Tennessean, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Knoxville News Sentinel, and the Memphis Commercial Appeal because I didn't find anything in their online editions about the absence of Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker during the hate crimes cloture vote last night.
So what kind of coverage do I want to see on policy issues affecting the GLBT community?
1. Stories on the major bills--federal, state, and local. Where's the coverage of ENDA or Matthew Shepard? Where was the coverage this spring on the state hate crimes bill?
2. The positions of our elected officials on these bills. There has been no story in the Tennessee press about the fact that Congressman Jim Cooper is a cosponsor of ENDA. And shouldn't it give a reporter pause if both our state's U.S. Senators are absent from a key vote on a bill? There were about 20 cosponsors of the state hate crimes bill, but no story.
3. Give a sense of the case for both/all sides. What are the key arguments being brought forward to advance and defeat legislation?
4. Give us a legislative path/calendar. Let us know when the votes are going to take place.
5. Stop saying GLBT issues are controversial when the controversy hasn't yet developed. The Tennessean did this with respect to the Metro ordinance when no real opposition had materialized.
Is that too much to ask? Help the public debate this stuff. Damn!