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Tennessee editorial roundup

September 5, 2018

Recent editorials from Tennessee newspapers:


Sept. 4

Bristol Herald Courier on the trend toward walkable spaces:

Poll after poll shows health care and related health expenses are among the top concerns of Americans. One of the simplest methods of keeping healthy is to engage in physical activity, and one of the easiest ways to do that is by walking. Toward that end — and a host of associated benefits, both physical and fiscal — many cities are striving to make their downtowns more walkable.

Walking produces a range of health benefits. Walking can lower blood pressure and combat the progress of diabetes, two major health concerns in this country and this region. According to the American Heart Association, adults should be walking 150 minutes a week to fully receive the health benefits from such a physical activity. That’s only a half hour each day, which is an easy goal to accomplish, provided that people have access to a safe and attractive walking environment.

A good 30-minute walk can also produce emotional and mental benefits, too. Walks are great for clearing cobwebs from the brain, fostering inspiration, reducing stress and bestowing a general sense of well being. ...

Walking is great for business, as well. Walkers on the paths and sidewalks in revitalized downtown areas get to enjoy the aromas wafting from restaurants, browse the windows of art galleries and antique shops, admire gardens and landscaping, study vintage architecture, and much more. Later, when walkers are looking for a place to have a good meal, buy a unique gift or secure a needed service, they are almost certain to consider some of the places they pass by during their walks.

... Local officials should look at even more ways to incorporate safe and attractive thoroughfares for the benefit of those who like to reach their destination on foot. Walking trails, especially when combined with aesthetically and environmentally pleasing green spaces and water features, are an economic boon to any community. At the very least, investment in such projects will be paid back in the improved health outlook for people in communities with easy access to walking.

The AHA points out that walking can easily be paired with other activities:

“?Taking the dog out for a stroll through the neighborhood.

“?Spending quality time with the family at the park.

“?Parking farther from your workplace and using the stairs instead of the elevator.

“?Window shopping at a mall or downtown shopping districts.

“?De-stressing after a hectic work day.

Walking does a body good. Walking also does a community good. Individuals and communities should join hands and walk together in providing more safe and accessible walking opportunities for everyone.

Online: http://www.heraldcourier.com/


Sept. 1

The Greenville Sun on the decision to end tariffs on Canadian newsprint:

The U.S. International Trade Commission made an important decision this week to end tariffs on Canadian newsprint. We want to thank our readers for the part they played in urging elected officials to convince the ITC to do just that.

As we told you earlier this year, the United States Department of Commerce slapped temporary tariffs on newsprint imported from Canada, where most American newspapers get the paper upon which they are printed.

The change came at the request of one Washington-based newsprint supplier — owned by a New York hedge fund — trying to make a quick buck in a tariff-friendly environment and endangering the entire newspaper and newsprint manufacturing industries and their thousands of U.S. laborers.

The ITC ruled that the U.S. industry is not “materially injured or threatened with material injury” by the imported Canadian newsprint. No injury means no more tariffs.

After they were implemented, those tariffs quickly led to steep increases in the cost of newsprint for The Greeneville Sun and thousands of other newspapers in the country. Outside of its staff, newsprint is by far a newspaper’s biggest expense. We began bearing those costs months ago, and normal operations at many newspapers across the country were jeopardized by them, resulting in many frequency reductions, significant job losses and outright closures of some newspapers.

We first told you about those tariffs in March and have from time to time published updates. After each of those pieces, we heard from many of our readers, asking how they can help the newspaper industry and The Greeneville Sun. We instructed many of you to get in touch with U.S. Rep. Phil Roe and U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker.

Several of you called us to let us know you stood by us and would do whatever you could to pressure the ITC to overrule the U.S. Department of Commerce and nullify the tariffs.

We sincerely thank you. ...

We want to thank our elected officials for their part in communicating with the ITC on the damage those tariffs were doing.


In a week when one person was arrested for making death threats against journalists after a series of editorials criticized verbal attacks on the press, the announcement from the ITC and the renewed support of so many of our readers is indeed much-needed good news.

That Los Angeles man making the death threats was arrested after making those threats against journalists at the Boston Globe after the Globe coordinated efforts across the country to publish editorials condemning recent attacks on the press. Federal prosecutors said the suspect referred to journalists as the “enemy of the people.”


The attacks on the news media — many of which begin with President Trump — degrade the role a free press plays. The man in California is solely responsible for his own actions. But effectively calling treason against an entire industry of hard-working, dedicated people (who often do our jobs with little thanks) sets the stage for people to do just what the man in California did this week.

Judy Patrick, the vice president for editorial development at the New York Press Association put it pretty well in a widely circulated piece she wrote: “We aren’t the enemy of the people,” she wrote. “We are the people. We aren’t fake news. We are your news and we struggle night and day to get the facts right.”

She continued: “Our work is a labor of love because we love our country and believe we are playing a vital role in our democracy. Self-governance demands that our citizens need to be well-informed, and that’s what we’re here to do. We go beyond the government-issued press release or briefing and ask tough questions. We hold people in power accountable for their actions. Some think we’re rude to question and challenge. We know it’s our obligation.

“People have been criticizing the press for generations. We are not perfect. But we’re striving every day to be a better version of ourselves than we were the day before.”


Online: https://www.greenevillesun.com/

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