Sunday, November 09, 2008

Bill Phillips Is Not Scared To Ask The Questions.

Bill Phillips at the Monday School Board workshop asked questions about a recent news story. In this week's Shopper News, he has an ad with his remarks published. The questions that he ask need to be answered. Will the News Sentinel and Attorney Greg Issacs answer the questions or will they simply try to ignore the issue?

The content of the letter in the ad is below.

Dear Knox County Citizens,

I have some comments about some negative press reports that have caused our parents and community members to question our school system and the education and the safety that their children receive in Knox County.

Tuesday, October 28, Knoxville News Sentinel Reporter Jamie Satterfi eld reported in that publication a quote by Attorney Gregory P. Isaacs that the boy “was being transported to a sex offender treatment program at Halls High School when the alleged rape occurred.” Also Reporter Satterfield quoted in her article, “that Knox County Juvenile Court officials were worried about the supervision of an 18-year-old boy who was being transported on the bus to attend sex offender treatment classes at Halls High School.” The story went on to quote Isaacs as saying, “The 18-year-old male student was in therapy for a sex crime related matter and has been characterized as a sexual predator.”

On Wednesday, Knoxville News Sentinel Reporter, J.J. Stambaugh reported an email statement from Knox County Schools Director of Public Affairs Russ Oaks denying the existence of a sex offender treatment program at Halls or any other Knox County School. At 7:25 p.m., Reporter Stambaugh updated his story with a response from Attorney Isaacs saying, “That he had never
claimed the school system operated such a program.”

So, the questions that I would like to ask on behalf of the Knox County Citizens who have their children in our school system are, did the News Sentinel intentionally sensationalize this story with tabloid tactics in order to sell newspapers or did Attorney Isaacs use a false statement in order to bring the school system into a false light to spread fear among the parents and citizens who entrust their children to us every day? These questions must be asked.

The News Sentinel and Attorney Isaacs owe this community the answers. In a day when newspapers demand accountability, the community served by that newspaper must likewise expect responsible reporting and journalistic ethics.

Here is the link to the Bearden edition of the Shopper News. The questions are located in a letter on page A6. In the Ftn City/Halls/Gibbs edition the ad is on page A10. In the Powell edition it is located on page B4. In the Farragut edition the ad is on page All.


Anonymous said...

It is about time someone called it the way it is

Anonymous said...

The Sentinel does no do corrections. They use their website to do updates.

This way they are never wrong.

It is not professional journalism.

Since the advent of their website the Sentinel has become more sensational. They cross the line of reasonable advocacy like with this story. The question is, who is the problem. Is it the reporters or the editors?

This county should never have given the Sentinel the massive tax breaks they did. The Sentinel outsources artwork to India according to KnoxViews. That is a violation of the Pilot agreement.