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More Media Outlets Say They Won't Come To Newtown Saturday

NBC, NPR and the New York Times are among outlets who have said they will stay away on Saturday.

Written by Davis Dunavin.

For weeks, Newtown residents and town officials have asked the news media to stay home on Saturday, Dec. 14, from First Selectman Pat Llodra to a MoveOn.org petition that received more than 2,700 signatures.

Now many state and national outlets are reporting they'll do just that.

Hartford-based CBS affiliate station WFSB may have been the first to announce, following an interview with Llodra by WFSB host Dennis House.

"As we approach the somber anniversary of the mass shooting inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, Channel 3 Eyewitness News has made the decision to stay out of Newtown that day out of respect for the community," the station wrote in a statement on their website.

A partial list, according to The Washington Post: CNN, NPR, PBS, The New York Times, NBC News, ABC News, Fox News, USA Today and the Post itself will not report from Newtown on Dec. 14.

The Associated Press has said it will have reporters in Newtown on Saturday, according to the Post. CBS News told the New York Times they plan to come to Newtown, but will "have the smallest footprint possible."

"We don’t want to be intrusive, but we're confident we can report the story and not get in the way," said CBS Special Events Director Tim Gaughan.

"NO MEDIA" signs have gone up in parking lots across Sandy Hook and Newtown, including outside Newtown United Methodist ChurchSt. Rose of Lima and Church Hill Road in Sandy Hook. In addition, Sandy Hook's two largest shopping-accessible parking lots will be closed to media.

"There’s an emotional component to our request for media to stay away," said Llodra. "Our village was harmed almost irreparably by this chokehold media traffic had on us because of buying power of those shops ... To be reminded in such a stark way is not something we need from media. We lived this every day."

Police Chief Michael Kehoe said police have prepared an operation plan to keep traffic moving in Newtown and the village of Sandy Hook as smoothly and rapidly as possible.

"We don’t want to see the logjams we had," he said. "Our emphasis is on trying to keep a normal traffic pattern. We will have operational plans and people in place. There will be parking restrictions, officers in the field and you’ll see a unique law enforcement presence."
AC December 15, 2013 at 08:42 AM
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