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Tennessee Lookout


Local News Outlet

Associated with:

States Newsroom



Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

Tennessee Lookout is a state branch for the national left-of-center media network States Newsroom. 1

The outlet focuses on state-level issues related to Tennessee such as education, health topics such as vaccination requirements for Tennessee foster care, and environmental issues such as a proposition to have private businesses pay for homeowner recycling. 2


Tennessee Lookout was launched in 2020 by States Newsroom. Tennessee Lookout was State Newsroom’s 14th newsroom and its fourth in the southern United States. As of March 2024, Tennessee Lookout was being led by Holly McCall, an experienced government reporter who worked in Ohio and Missouri briefly but has been covering Tennessee issues for many years. She worked for the Nashville Business Journal, she was a political analyst for WZTV Fox 17, and worked in communication for multiple Nashville government agencies. 3

Issue Reporting


Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) was criticized by the Tennessee Lookout for pushing a bill to provide private school tuition subsidies to impoverished students in Tennessee. Tennessee Lookout sided with state Democrats in criticizing Governor Lee for pushing the program after the state came in $600 million under the projected budget, which ended up at $56 billion and was still a 3 percent increase from the year before. 4 Tennessee Lookout blamed the shortfall on business tax cuts, which were given to help businesses after COVID-19. 5

Tennessee Lookout reported on objections from some Democrats in Tennessee to Education Commissioner Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds, whom the Democrats claimed was unqualified. State Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville) suggested that Reynolds was made commissioner to push the private school choice program and to undermine public education and destroy public schools. 6

Health Care

A bill by Tennessee state Senator Bo Watson (R-Chattanooga) and state Representative Ron Gant (R-Piperton) which would eliminate flu and whooping cough vaccine requirements for adoptive families and foster families has gone through the Senate Judiciary Committee and is going on to the calendar committee. The bill passed through the judiciary committee with only one member objecting. Although the vote to pass the bill was nearly unanimous, the Tennessee Lookout created a subtitle criticizing the bill by saying, “DCS says the proposal to ax rules requiring vaccines for families taking in infants, medically fragile kids could be ‘severely detrimental to that population particularly.'” 7


A bill called the Tennessee Waste Reduction and Recycling Act is being pushed by state Sen. Heidi Campbell (D-Nashville) and state Rep. Torrey Harris (D-Memphis). The bill would require all private businesses which are based or do business in Tennessee with revenue over $1 million to fund recycling in the state. The article, written by Tennessee Lookout, did not address political opposition to the bill, but does note other Democrats in Tennessee who support the bill. 8


  1. Susi, Jillian. “States Newsroom Launches Tennessee Lookout.” States Newsroom, May 20, 2020. https://statesnewsroom.com/press-releases/states-newsroom-launches-tennessee-lookout/.
  2. “About • Tennessee Lookout.” Tennessee Lookout, February 29, 2024. https://tennesseelookout.com/about/.
  3. Susi, Jillian. “States Newsroom Launches Tennessee Lookout.” States Newsroom, May 20, 2020. https://statesnewsroom.com/press-releases/states-newsroom-launches-tennessee-lookout/.
  4. “Tennessee.” Urban Institute. Accessed March 14, 2024. https://www.urban.org/policy-centers/cross-center-initiatives/state-and-local-finance-initiative/projects/state-fiscal-briefs/tennessee#:~:text=Tennessee’s%20current%20budget,cuts%20in%20calendar%20year%202023.
  5. Stockard, Sam. “Budget Problems Could Affect Governor’s Private-School Voucher Plan .” Tennessee Lookout, January 30, 2024. https://tennesseelookout.com/2024/01/30/budget-problems-could-affect-governors-private-school-voucher-plan/.
  6. Stockard, Sam. “Democrats Call for Removal of Education Commissioner.” Tennessee Lookout, January 22, 2024. https://tennesseelookout.com/briefs/democrats-call-for-removal-of-education-commissioner/.
  7.  Wadhwani, Anita. “Bill to Eliminate VAX Requirements for Tennessee Foster Care, Adoptive Families Advances.” Tennessee Lookout, February 21, 2024. https://tennesseelookout.com/2024/02/21/bill-to-eliminate-vax-requirements-for-tennessee-foster-care-adoptive-families-advances/.
  8. Wadhwani, Anita. “Bipartisan Tennessee Bill Would Bring Recycling to All Homes, Paid for by Private Business.” Tennessee Lookout, March 4, 2024. https://tennesseelookout.com/2024/03/04/bipartisan-tennessee-bill-would-bring-recycling-to-all-homes-be-paid-for-by-private-business/
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