Every Day Matters...Three Days Later

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Once again The Tennessean is forgetting that it's a daily newspaper and that it can't just get to the news whenever it feels like it. Here are the two latest examples: On Saturday, country songwriter Richard Fagan allegedly killed music publisher Gaetano Thomas Oteri with a pocket knife during a drunken brawl. Yesterday, a long three days after the murder, The Tennessean delivers its account of what happened in a front-page above-the-fold story. Also in the paper that day, music writer Peter Cooper penned a riveting sidebar about a friendly lunch he had with both Fagan and Oteri. Still, should it take three days for the paper to write the definitive story about a juicy murder? On Monday, the New York Daily News had a salacious front-page story reporting that disgraced pitcher Roger Clemens had an affair with country singer Mindy McCready. Later, McCready released a statement saying that she couldn't refute the tale of the tryst. Today, The Tennessean comes back with a front-page story rehashing the News' piece while adding a few chirpy local voices. Since the paper's reporting didn't break any new ground, why did it run two days after the Daily News' item? Does it take 48 hours to repackage a simple story that ran in another paper? At my last stop in Dallas, the Morning News had its flaws too, but you could always count the paper's ability to react quickly to a major news story and write a thorough and engaging piece that would have people talking. If any of the above stories touched on Dallas, the paper wouldn't have kept its readers waiting a few days to read all about it. But here in Nashville, our daily paper prefers to get to the news when it's convenient—and if that means waiting an extra day or so, that's just fine. You'd think that with their circulation sliding every year, someone over at 1100 Broadway would have a sense of urgency.

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