The Tennessean is a newspaper and online information provider in Nashville, Tennessee, which has been involved in several major battles for freedom of information in that state.
It is owned by The Gannett Co., an international media chain that owns newspapers and television stations around the nation, including USA Today.
Open government advocacy
The Tennessean has been involved in several key battles for open government in Tennessee. These include:
- Tennessean v. Electric Power Board of Nashville, a 1998 ruling by the state Supreme Court in which the high court ruled for the first time that government records in electronic form are public records just as paper records are -- and are subject to the same public access rules.
- The Tennessean v. Powers Management/Allen v. Day, in which the newspaper successfully pushed for access to records in the possession of a private entity that managed a city-owned arena in downtown Nashville.
Several former Tennessean staff members have become key figures in open government advocacy. These include:
- John Seigenthaler, former Tennessean editor and publisher, now head of the John Siegenthaler First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University;
- Frank Gibson, executive director of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government
- Trent Seibert, editor of the nonprofit online newspaper Texas Watchdog.