When the news hurts a good cause

Newspeople can get a bad rap. Sometimes they deserve it. For sure, it’s difficult to condense a lot of information into the bite-sized morsels that result in local TV news.

But sometimes, the telling can do immense damage, particular if journalists think that every story must have a good guy and a bad guy.

The great equalizer now is that everyone has a video camera.

Randy Palmer, of Backpack Project MN, posted this story this afternoon on his Facebook page.

I’m having a really hard time with something that occurred yesterday.

Backpack Project MN was invited by Nicole Curtis to raise money for our backpacks for homeless youth at her open house. This is a TREMENDOUS opportunity for us, and Nicole helped us raise nearly $4,000 in funds in a very short time. That is INCREDIBLE. That money is going to help 400+ young people survive being homeless this winter.

That money is going to help us purchase the rest of the inventory we need for our backpacks. We are at the tail end of our deadline for assembling our bags. I’ll be shopping this week for the rest of the supplies, and trust me, we really needed this help.

We are so grateful for Nicole, she has been a long-time supporter and donator… she has been a major donor every cycle of our backpacks, since 2014. During her open house yesterday, a news crew came to shoot…and they aired the piece last night, making it sound like a bitter feud with neighbors and heavily edited the piece, cutting out quite vital bits of information.

I’m not naive, I know that everyone wants the juicy bits of a story…but this could have been an opportunity during the holidays to air a piece about an amazing person that helped us immensely.

It could have been about the person that stood in the cold for 3+ hours, that let folks with children or folks that could not stand outside go to the front of the line, it could have been about the person that personally greeted and talked to every single person that entered her home. It could have been about the crew that brought this amazing home back to life, kept it from going into a landfill, and about the folks that restored a bit of Minneapolis history in a neighborhood that REALLY DESPERATELY needs gorgeous homes to be restored.

As a long time resident of North Minneapolis I’m incredibly grateful for Nicole and her efforts, as well as the efforts of any person that helps restore our beautiful homes in our beautiful neighborhood.

This is the second time I’ve been involved with this news crew, and the second time I’ve been directly involved in heavy editing. The last time, they interviewed me, and I must have mentioned North Minneapolis 20 times in the interview, because we NEED good news stories about north. They edited out every mention of North in our interview, and it really let me down.

I’ll post the yesterday’s interview here, recorded by Chriss Garlick Reichow, and I’ll post what this news crew aired in comments.

Thank you Nicole Curtis. Thank you so much for the help and effort and for restoring these homes and for helping so many folks out that desperately need it.

I'm having a really hard time with something that occurred yesterday. Backpack Project MN was invited by Nicole Curtis…

Posted by Randy Palmer on Monday, December 10, 2018