April 21, 2013

Insight by Michelle Libby

When bad things happen to good people

Marathons are a thing of endurance, will and celebration. I have stood at the finish line of the Maine Marathon twice, congratulated finishers, giving them water and watching them delight in their exhaustion. 

Never would I have imagined something happening like what unfolded in Boston this week. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those injured and those who witnessed this horrific event at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. 

As the editor of The Windham Eagle, I was approached Monday many times asking if we were going to cover the incident and if we wanted the contact information of someone who was there. As a journalist, I wanted to speak to these people, find out what happened and if they are okay. As the editor, I have made the decision not to cover the event. There is no doubt that the explosions are news. However, as a newspaper that has pledged to cover Windham and Raymond in a positive manner, I see no value in recapping what anyone with an Internet connection can find and read about. Graphic photos, firsthand accounts, videos, it’s all out there for our consumption. 

Maine author Carrie Jones was there and wrote a blog post about her experience and it was picked up and reprinted by the Huffington Post. The information is out there for those who want to read it. From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. my Facebook newsfeed had hundreds of posts. After 6 p.m., very little was added. It was as if people shut off the media and “circled the wagons” to be with family and friends. 

Thank you to our readers who offered to put me in touch with runners and spectators who were in Boston on Monday. I am appreciative of the contacts. 
This time however, I am choosing to keep The Windham Eagle a newspaper that families can gather with and discuss the news of their community away from the gruesome reality covered by others.  

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