If you do not subscribe to the Tennessean and have been thinking about it, don't bother. The paper has gone from bad to worse. In today's (Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014) Tennessean most of the front page was a story about the G. T. Wilburn Grist Mill near Lawrenceburg and how the family could no longer hold on to this farm and mill and general store which had been in their family for generations. The story not only took up most of the front page but continued taking up two more pages inside the paper. I actually enjoyed the story but it is not news. It is more fitting for periodical or an inside features section of a newspaper.
The other news hole consuming story was a love story about a song writer who committed suicide. Not a bad story but not news and more fitting for a tabloid. There was very little news in the newspaper. There was one story about Obama's immigration dog and pony show coming to Nashville next week and some background on the growth of Nashville's immigrant population, and while it was good background it didn't contain much real news. Almost everything else was filler or press releases.
The editorial page had an editorial about how we must deal with Nashville's traffic problems but the extra large type headlining the story and an illustration that shed no light on the topic took up three-quarters of the page. The article itself was not very in-depth. The paper carries no syndicated national columnist.
I am not a sports fan, so I don't know if the Tennessean does a good job of sports coverage or not. I am pleased that the Tennessean covers Nashville's entertainment and music business news. I like reading about the music business. I occasionally think they do a fair job of reporting general business news, but to determine if the they adequately cover business developments, you would have to ask someone who is more attuned to the business sector. I don't know what I don't know.
My complaint with the Tennessee is not that it has a liberal bias, but that it has very little news. I remember a time when Nashville had two newspapers and they competed to get the story and they dug deep looking for government scandals and just to report the news that informed the public.
Part of the problems with the Tennessean is that they have developed what they call the "newsroom of the future" which finds out what readers wants to read and then gives it to them. Rather than finding the story and reporting it, and letting events drive the news, they let a response to what readers want to read drive the news. The paper has laid off staff and it shows. The paper is leaner but it is not meaner. It is a lazy wimp of a newspaper.
What is happening in Nashville however is not unique. Very few cities have competing newspapers anymore. New Orleans does not even have a daily paper anymore. Newspapers all over America are full of pictures and graphics and very little news. I am concerned that the quality of American governance will decrease when we do not have an informed electorate. With the Internet, there are a lot of bloggers now but bloggers are not a substitute for a newspaper. Bloggers like myself mostly provide commentary or cover a little niche of the news market. We do not discover news. Amateur bloggers cannot replace paid newsmen going after the hard story. Someone needs to interview city officials, go to boring meetings and look at documents. As a society, we need the watchdog roll of the press and we certainly do not get it with the Tennessean.