The ‘Uneasy Relationship’ Between Newtown Residents and Local Media in the Aftermath of Sandy Hook Shooting

By Merrill Knox 

Broadcasting & Cable‘s Michael Malone examines the media crush in Newtown, Conn., where more than 20 people were killed in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week. Although much of the national media is gone, the local media has remained. B&C describes the relationship between residents and reporters as “a mix of tension and gratitude”:

Though the media crush has thinned considerably, there remains an uneasy relationship between the reporters and the residents. A woman keeps driving by, say the station staffers, telling everyone to “get the hell out.”

“They do not want us here,” said one Connecticut photographer.


A reporter from a New York O&O mentions the station hiring a private security professional for the day, after a motorist threatened one of their staffers with his car. With a service for Jessica Rekos, who was 6, going on inside, a man of about 20 — wearing scruffy facial hair and a scowl — walked by the media, growling, “It’s a funeral, people — not a TV station!”

Most residents appear to appreciate the stations’ efforts. “The coverage has been wonderful — they are respecting people’s privacy,” says Anne Maloy, who stopped by the church from Trumbull. “They’ve stayed on the outskirts when they needed do. I think they’ve done a beautiful job.”