Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why does the Nashville news media largely give MDHA a pass instead of investigating stories of their waste?

It seems like the only local news media interested in investigating Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency is NewsChannel5. As I recall they were the ones who broke the story on MDHA's mishandling of the budget to pay a local PR firm to sell the Mayor's plan for a new convention center. The Tennessean certainly was slow to touch that story, and I can understand why given that they donated thousands of dollars to the Mayor's cause.

It has been a month since the Washington Post broke a story on money wasted at the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, which sent millions to MDHA for a North Nashville development yet to be developed. After I found the story and blogged on it, my post got some hits from NewsChannel5 traffic, so I figured a broader local audience would finally see the story. This is Ben Hall's May 31 report:

But still, the Nashville media does not seem to be bothered that they were scooped on a big story about waste and developer neglect of a North Nashville neighborhood by an outside paper. The investigative team at 5 was not exactly ahead of the curve on the latest news and they attribute the story to WaPo as if the latter was a partner rather an atypical competitor that beat them badly on a story they should have written first. I cannot find evidence that any other media source honed in on this story. Given their past pattern of cutting MDHA slack I did not expect the Tennessean to report it. But no other TV station was interested? And the City Paper/Nashville Scene gave it a pass? Where was local public radio?


  1. Local media has been giving Nashville government a pass for two decades.

    Probably because everyone is going to the same boring parties.

    I'm glad I don't hang out with any of the above.


  2. BTW, just saw you listing local NPR as media that might actually investigate something.

    Mike, that is way too funny.

    All they report is stories on some ex-banker making goat cheese on a farm he bought near Shelbyville.