TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Barry Kolar on Jun 12, 2020

The Bristol Herald Courier is being honored with the TBA's Fourth Estate Award for its multi-part series "Critical Mass," which examined the jail overcrowding problems in Sullivan County. The award will be presented on June 18, during the Tennessee Bar Association's (TBA) 2020 Virtual Convention.

"The series promoted a better and deeper understanding of the overcrowding problem from a variety of angles and perspectives, while also delving into potential solutions for it," TBA Communications Section Chair Paul McAdoo said in announcing the award winner.

The 13,000-circulation daily newspaper employed its staff of six reporters and two photographers in the exhaustive seven-month investigation into the jail overcrowding issue. In addition to the multi-part series published in the newspaper, the Herald Courier held its first-ever town hall on the topic, and received words of appreciation from public officials in both Virginia and Tennessee.

The Fourth Estate Award was established to recognize and encourage journalists who promote public understanding of the rule of law and improvements in our system of justice through their vigorous exercise of their First Amendment rights. Previous winners include the Nashville Scene's Steven Hale and WSMV Channel 4's I-Team.

The Tennessee Bar Association was founded in 1881. Its membership represents the entire spectrum of the legal profession in Tennessee and beyond. The TBA is open to all licensed attorneys in good standing, and it is dedicated to enhancing fellowship and professionalism among the members of Tennessee's legal community.