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‘Still Newtown’



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As the calendar page turns to the final month of 2022, Newtown Bee staff who were on here on 12/14 along with those who joined the team since the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy and have covered related local, state, and national developments since that horrific incident, understandably become acutely focused on December 14.

Each year, we anticipate some range of media coverage as well as outreach for reflections and comments from our colleagues across the nation and around the world. We knew the 10-year mark would naturally generate a much greater degree of media interest and attention.

For that reason, Bee staffers have declined most offers to make that awkward crossover from journalist to journalist source. With few exceptions, that practice has remained intact through. This year, however, Editor John Voket and Managing Editor Shannon Hicks and the newspaper agreed to partner for one special project.

That media partnership with WSHU Public Radio — an NPR affiliate based at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield — solidified after broadcast journalist Davis Dunavin reached out in January with appropriate collegial poise and sensitivity, seeking our collaboration on a multi-part radio and podcast series that was eventually titled “Still Newtown.”

While one or more staff members have or may still choose to lend resource to other media reports, and aside from a separate and long-planned recognition of the ten-year mark since the tragedy planned for the December 9 edition of The Newtown Bee, our reporting on the “Still Newtown” series will make up the majority of the coverage we will produce immediately before and after December 14, 2022.

Through firsthand experience, our reporting and editing team have come to some degree of resigned acceptance that in order to do their job, every other media entity must to some degree “parachute in” to gather information to produce their reporting.

But The Newtown Bee is so deeply rooted in our community, that we have always approached anything related to 12/14 with insider perspective and our very best efforts to handle related journalism with the sensitivity we feel is required as your neighbor, and as the institution that has been standing alongside residents and readers long before, during, and since the nightmarish hours, days, and weeks, and nearly ten years to follow.

We hope those same residents and readers will access, share, and appreciate “Still Newtown” as it debuts on WSHU and its website in the coming days. To the extent we have been exposed to its content, we are proud to have played a role in its development.

Welcome 'My Backyard Habitat'

Over the past year, The Newtown Bee has sought strategic collaborations with specific community organizations to join C.H. Booth Library and Newtown Senior Center in producing regular columns in your local newspaper. The town library and senior center have shared content on a weekly basis for decades. Until last week, the newest partnerships have been with Newtown Community Center, with a monthly column, and the Parks & Recreation Department, who has space scheduled twice each month.

We are now pleased to round out those monthly column contributions with “My Backyard Habitat,” from the local environmental preservation nonprofit Protect Our Pollinators (POP). Each month, readers will enjoy and benefit from POP members’ advice, guidance, and expertise in taking — as mentioned in the column debut in our November 25 edition — “...a closer look at your backyard and the integral role that it plays in providing much needed habitat for our pollinators and by extension all other wildlife.”

We believe every property owner, and property, across the community can benefit from this new monthly contribution. We encourage you to get to know and support POP.

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