Jody Shapiro: Wonders about lack of coverage

Published: 7/7/2018 12:13:26 PM
Wonders about lack of coverage

Why was there no coverage in the Gazette of the #FamiliesBelongTogether demonstrations across the Valley? It was local and it was newsworthy in various ways. Example: over 1000 people marched in Springfield in roasting temperatures.

The Springfield march represented the combined efforts of Springfield and Northampton organizers, shoulder to shoulder across neighborhoods and languages, united by empathy and care for children and parents separated by the cruel and appalling practices of the current administration.

Example: on the common in Belchertown, 250 people gathered along Route 202, carrying homemade signs like “Don’t mistake your racism for patriotism,” and receiving an abundance of waves, smiles and supportive honks from passing traffic (I saw only one driver “flip the bird”). In this small town of purple politics, it was extraordinary, and inspiring, to have such a large turn-out. It had not been well-publicized, but the people came, because they are horrified and mobilized by the moral crisis happening in this nation. (Please give better attention to Belchertown — you basically blew the coverage of the gun rally and counterrally too — and thank you for printing the letter about that.)

Yet all the Gazette did to note the nationwide mobilization this weekend was post an AP story? There were abundant local angles here revealing our unity amid diversity in increasingly perilous times. Smaller gatherings happened all over the Valley, from Shutesbury to Greenfield. We didn’t need the AP story (because we have the internet); we needed to witness local power, passion, and interconnection. We needed a reporter on the scene. Both these marches I describe, and many others, were on the official national list online.

You could have sent someone. Please do better.

Jody Shapiro



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