WFSB to Honor Newtown’s Media Request to Stay Away on December 14th

Photo: Eric Thayer/Reuters

Some families impacted by the Sandy Hook school shooting have moved out of town, some will take a vacation and go far from Newtown on December 14th, and others will be home on the one year mark of one of the darkest chapters in Connecticut history.

December 14, 2013 will be a somber day in Newtown, and town leaders are hoping people there can reflect, pray, and cry in private. Sunday on Face the State on WFSB, First selectman Pat Llodra asked all members of the media to stay away on that day.

“We are on a grief journey and we are healing and the media can be an impediment to that healing because it creates some barriers that are difficult for our community.”

WFSB management has announced the Eyewitness News team will not be in Newtown on December 14th. Instead, each day leading up to the 14th, we have been profiling those who died in the shooting. Here is the official word from the station: http://www.wfsb.com/story/24122521/no-wfsb-crews-will-be-in-newtown-on-dec-14


Llodra expressed gratitude to the media for spreading the message of what her town has been through in the past year, and how her constituents are healing. She also told me how the town has changed and what she expects in the future. Llodra shared with me her most difficult moment in the past year. The link to the interview is right here: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9583810

Photo: Stamford Advocate


I asked Llodra about the official report from the State’s Attorney into the shooting and for analysis on the report we are joined by Ryan McGuigan, a former assistant state’s attorney. McGuigan helped Face the State viewers understand some of the details of the report, and gave us a behind the scenes understanding of what it takes to put a report like this together.


You can watch Ryan McGuigan right here: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9583817

Follow me on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@dennishousewfsb


68 replies »

  1. Any media found in Newtown to cover this should be arrested. These are people and need to be left alone. These people have suffered enough and this day will be hard enough to get through without the media sensation I losing it. It was a tragedy, not a circus. Respect the people and stay away unless you have a reason to be in n New town during his time.

    • its really not appropriate that some people think they can tell the media what to do. The media is supposed to be free to cover any and all stories they see fit. A free media is an important part of a healthy democracy – there is a reason for it. Censorship is a dangerous road to take, this is historical fact.

      • Agreed, freedom of the press is vital… but as a Newtown resident, I can unconditionally say that the media abused that freedom last year. There is a fine line between freedom of the press and impinging on individuals beyond what is reasonable. In short, the media swarm that buried Sandy Hook last year was disrespectful and unnecessary. Respectful media coverage would be welcomed… unfortunately, based on last year, that doesn’t seem possible anymore.

      • Really? Do people who lost the kids that watches the news that day really want to see or hear what happened last year? WFSB understands that and there staying away.

      • do you live in Newtown Jessica? And how old are you? Sometimes the Media is going for the story because of the wrong reasons…the people of Newtown’s live’s have been forever changed and allowing them to heal privately is a sign of compassion….something the media sometimes forgets

      • Well I guess you don’t have children or for that matter you have never lost a child. Those parents do have a right to acknowledge their loss without the media breathing down their necks or reliving that horrible day .

  2. My heart goes out to the families,police, and first responders, firemen .. they need to grieve in peace..media stay AWAY !!!!!! God bless them all…

  3. Any one with common sense will leave the people of Sandy Hook alone, not just for the Holidays, but forever since no good can come from re-hashing the tragedy. It’s not just this season, but every day of their lives that they will feel the loss. Please give them peace.

  4. Same question. Will WFSB stay away? Any discussions on other news stations agreeing to stay away, giving the families a little peace and respect on his horrific anniversary?

    • No one would be forced to talk with the media. I personally want to know what is happening in Newtown one year later. I want to talk about the original news coverage and things they might have missed, I want to talk about how the families are doing now, I want to talk school safety in relation to this, I want to talk about the school demolition and I want to see it being demolitioned, I want to talk about the involvement narcotic drugs may have had, I want to talk about how this has affected all CT schools, I have so many unanswered questions. No one has the right to censor other people’s desire to talk about a horrific event that has effected and will continue to affect all our lives dramatically.

      • I 100% agree they do not need to talk to the media but we as the people who griefed along with everyone single one of them would like to know more about the where are they now? How the school is coming the new alarms or safety that have gone into the new school the kids that were effected are they moving forward ok?? It is 100% freedom of the media to continue to cover sandy hook especially one year later

      • Then I suggest you get off the couch anf go take a look. Can you be more selfish or lazy?!?!?

      • you obvisouly dont have children. any one with children can understand why they would want to be left alone. You want to make those people open wounds they are trying to heal, and those wounds will never heal. It is people like you that make the media horrible. People dont need to know everything, mind your buisness and leave them be. If they wanted to talk they would have talked why wait a year later on the first annivesary to want to talk to them.

      • Read the entire report and leave the town of Newtown in peace. You want…you want…Then go do the work yourself. There is a 48 page report for you to read with photos for you to examine. The 911 tapes will be released on Wed. 12/4. It’s people like you that are the reason Newtown had to ask to be left alone. I was born and raised there. I have tons of family and friends still in town. However, I will not be making the 2 hr. drive into town on 12/14. My little home town needs for things to have things as normal as possible on that heart wrenching day!

      • I can understnd the rest of the world wanting a sort of “update: on how Our town is 1 year later, its the same curiosity every1 felt 1 year and etc since 9/11 or any other tradgedy, a sort of outward looking in, but when you your family and friends all live in that community thats affected, all you can think about is really being left alone in peace, we here in newtown just dont want cameras in out faces, the media at our doors, and our sandy hook center, “the village in the center of town where all the media trucks and camera crews crammed thier way into conjesting it everywhere”, all over the place. Thier mere presence alone…is just an un welcomed reminder, and so close to xmas its just the last thing we want/need to see.

        So in summation, yes please just let us enjoy the silence by keeping away the circus that is the media.

        ~Mike D’Amico
        ~Newtown, CT.

      • Jessica, you can talk about it all you want. With your friends, neighbors, editor of your local paper if you see fit, your clergy. Some of the information you want is available in the investigative report. Have at it. But your desire to talk about it does NOT mean that we need to be overrun by media. There is a difference between curiosity and journalism. We live here and we can feel the difference.

      • No one is censoring. All residents are asking for, repeat asking for, not telling,is some respect.

        Do you not think every angle was covered a year ago? Doubtful anything was missed. If there were stories or pieces not reported then, perhaps there is a reason for that. As a state we are all well aware of what happened. It is now and has been a priority to learn but not dwell on the past. Let’s learn and change what we can by moving forward.
        No more talking.

        Prayers for Newtown.

      • Agree with Jessica. We learn from the pass so we can make a better future.If you try to sweep every thing under the rug, what will you learn?

      • Jessica, as a Newtowner I ask you to stay away from this town and redirect your curiosity elsewhere. We are not tourist attraction. Your comments quite frankly make me sick. Find another hobby, dear.

      • yes, and when they park in your driveway or in front of your house all night long making noise so your kids can’t sleep, or follow your kids around sticking cameras and microphones in their faces asking, “did you know anyone” and do NOT let up when they are told to go away…then let me know what you think. Harassment is not appropriate either …is it?

        ohhhhhh…you didn’t know that the media harassed families with children by following them around supermarket parking lots or by going door to door in Sandy Hook? You thought they weren’t trying to force themselves upon the residents? now you know…satisfy your curiosity some other way!

  5. the media needs to find someone else to exploit on Dec 14th and leave the people of Newtown to grieve in peace……………

    • I can not grieve in peace because of so many unanswered questions, I wish the media would do more stories on this event, digging into areas of this story not really touched by the media to date.

      • why do you want to dig deeper jessica…..you might need to be checked yourself….there are plenty of others stories of death and destruction that must satisfy your need for media attention….leave these innocent people out of this. it strikes me as odd you can not grieve in peace….there is something wrong

  6. Absolutely, leave these people alone. They faced the worst tragedy anyone can imagine and they don’t need a circus made out of it.

  7. Arrested?? You sir are a moron. Like it or not we have a free press. No matter where the tragedy, the reality is it gets covered by the news. Its been that way forever.

  8. I agree – the families of all impacted and that means the Town should have a day of peace – quiet and reflection. This should not be a media circus~

    • agree; will Anderson Cooper, CNN , stay away , ? One word; RESPECT. was there for a week after shootings and the love in that town was and is amazing. ! God bless

  9. The media needs to leave the people of Newtown alone. Please allow Newtown to pray in peace PLEASE!!

  10. Media ? = The dis-info agents of the black govt. operators that perpetrated Sandy Hoax? They surely didn’t do any real investigative reporting a year ago, not expecting anything different if they go back and disturb the poor “grieving victims known as Newtown”. Don’t worry, any evidence, witnesses, suspects, or people of interest are long gone now….No need for “media” anymore.

    • Can you please go seek psychological help? Putting “poor grieving victims of Newtown” in quotes and implying that this is all a hoax perpetrated by black govt operators tells us a great deal about your paranoia, lack of empathy and detachment from the reality of the lives of the very REAL suffering in Newtown, CT.

      • @Sarah…..Let me guess, YOU have come to believe (and I use the term very loosely) the “official” story being told out of Newtown, which was presented to via “Media”. The media is YOUR reality. Sealed death certificates, sealed evidence, sealed forensic records, sealed police reports, sealed 911 recordings, “special legislation” blocking all info coming out of Newtown, and no public record being presented after nearly a year. I would rather the “media” focus on this unprecedented “cover up” of Sandy Hoax…. YOU need the REAL help…..Wake up.

      • Sarah, don’t be bothered with people like that. It’s not worth our time. You know it’s nonsense…..
        I agree with the media keeping their distance. There was more than enough ‘freedom of the media’ last year to last 10 lifetimes. We’re not going to gain anything by delving into these peoples lives. It’s quite frankly none of our business ‘how they’re doing one year later’. They are not public figures! If anyone has unanswered questions about school safety etc, consult your local authorities and find out everything being done in your own community.

    • Seriously? What kind of silly freak are you? I live in Sandy Hook, in the neighborhood of the shooter. Do you want me to give you another reason why the lights in that house are never on at night? Families are devastated, and if you are a sick freak enough to fall for believing it is a hoax, I cannot imagine you can believe many things in your life. If this was a hoax, then what wasn’t? Newtown needs a day in peace, free from the media and all of the sick disbelievers.

    • Don’t you just love it when cowards behind keyboards don;t have the guts to give their real names? Get a life, moron.

  11. People should just respect their right to grieve in private. @steve , just because something has been in place as you say “forever” does not mean it is right. If we all thought like you, there would not be any progress.

  12. I applaud WFSB for not taking their cameras into Newtown on the days leading up to Dec. 14th. The people of this town have suffered in a way that no one can imagine. Let’s let them follow the road to recovery without having the media invade their privacy. Kudos to WFSB for standing strong!

  13. From what I can see, most of the media that has been present in Newtown since the shootings are from out of state. Is there nothing newsworthy in their own states to cover? Lately when you see news crews, they all seem to be from out of state. Seems the local news isn’t present. So, that tells me that perhaps those out of staters should go find something local to cover. What does seem pathetic is that those from out of state need to even be here to cover stuff while the local crews stay away.

  14. I wish the media would cover this corrupt administration; Fast & Furious, Benghazi, Obamacare, Black Panthers, IRS, NSA, et.al. with the fervor they have for Sandy Hook.


  15. The people of Newtown are not asking the news media to not report on the 1 year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings, but to do it at an alternative location. There really is no need for the media to clog the streets of our little town, downtown Sandy Hook, the old town hall, etc. with media trucks and news personnel standing outside. I would think that they can do it at an alternative location – like their own studios, perhaps using a photo backdrop. It is so emotionally difficult to drive through town seeing all these trucks and people setting up lights, cameras, etc. There were at least 4 -5 people per news station coming to our town on each anniversary this past year.

  16. Thanks for putting humanity first, WFSB. There’s a lot of PTSD and near-PTSD in this town – an entire community feeling the emotional weight of the anniversary. Certainly, we need a free press, but we also need some respect. Do a story, interview people if you must – but don’t flood the town, and don’t do it on that day. One of the memories that will always be associated with tragedy to me is the noise of helicopters – news choppers flying overhead incessantly. Please – not again.

    • The sound of those choppers is still with me as well. Whenever I hear one now I shudder. The Freedom of the Press is one issue. The matter of simple humanity is another. Let us hope the Press does the right thing even though they can’t legally be forced to do so. True character will be shown.

  17. I applaud WSFB on respecting those in Newtown as they approach the first anniversary of their shooting. We, in Chardon, Ohio, understand all too well what those in Newtown are experiencing at this time.. Just 10 months earlier we had a school shooting where my grandson, whom we are raising, attends. 6 kids shot, 3 killed! If it weren’t for the brave teachers we would have lost more of our kids. Not only is Chardon where I live, but Ct is my home state. It felt like a double whammy. No one understands the pain endured by all those affected and how much something like this changes lives. As Ct gears up for this day, so do we, as we understand, it was so close to ours and how each time something like this happens…it is relived by those affected! We are prepared to support our students as Media bombards Newtown and show those awful footages of that day. I for one will not be watching out of respect, out of protecting my grandson , and for me, his grandmother, who never, ever want any parent to get a phone call like this, or deal with the aftermath. Please, please respect Newtown’s privacy and let this town grieve in peace.

  18. I live in Sandy Hook, down the street from the shooter and from one of his young victims. Our hearts are so heavy here. Not only did we lose precious friends and children, but we lost our once peaceful town. We couldn’t even drive the local roads for weeks the last time the press was here. We need a break. We need quiet. Time to mourn. No more tour buses full of gawkers. Thank you for giving us space to heal. We all know what happened, now let’s put our arms around each other and help each other by being understanding and compassionate. It doesn’t mean the press doesn’t have a right to cover the story, it just means that because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should. They can write a story about doing the right thing, which may mean doing something that’s not going to get big ratings. In the end, it will pay off. I’m sure of that.

  19. The media can practice their “freedom” and do informative “where are they now” or “how has this changed schools” etc. without even going to Newtown. They need to respect the privacy of these families and sticking a microphone into the faces of friends and neighbors isn’t reporting news, it’s being cold-hearted and disrespectful. This right-to-know attitude is terrible and people like the Jessica that just have to know it all should try to have a little compassion and do their own research. Lord know that its now all out there in the media thanks to FOI.

  20. RIP Angels of Sandy Hook! And to the People of Newtown/Sandy Hook may you find Peace on the Anniversary of this Tragedy…..

  21. I’m proud of WFSB ch.3 for giving them their space on this one day they ASKED for, not demanded but kindly asked.

  22. Yes, the media should have the freedom to make the right decision. WFSB has proven worthy of the first amendment by practicing good judgement. I would fight for their right to be there, and I applaud them for choosing to stay away. Dennis House and Klarn DePalma are lifelong friends of mine, and I am honored to have worked with both of them.

  23. I think there are other ways and other days to get the answers you are seeking without interfearing with the grieving process of this Town! People are grieving in so many different ways, depending on how this tradgy touched them. This day is for them not for morbid curiousity!!
    I personally thank this channel for staying away and hope more will follow.
    Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you All, now and forever!
    May you find peace and comfort from
    knowing that so many people do care.
    God Bless

  24. I have been impressed since Denice told directors’ on air to stop showing the grieving relatives. I am still impressed. KUDOS WFSB!!!!
    There will be nothing news worthy happening in Newtown that day!
    On Dec 14 I will be watch WFSB.

  25. Maybe if the media acted like journalists instead of Rock stars with their own agenda to improve their own status, they might be welcome. Leave your trucks, satellite dishes, logos and all the other loud intrusive trappings that you have come to rely on at home. Try showing up with just a pad and pencil… Observe, but stay out of peoples faces and lives. Write your story using your head and your God given talent to be writers. Respect the people, the town, and our “bucolic” lifestyle as the media has labeled it.

  26. Newtown I pray you find comfort and believe in the words of an Irish Blessing…
    May the road rise up to meet you
    May the wind be always at your back
    May the sun shine warm upon your face
    And until we meet again
    May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

    Debbie Chase

  27. I hope that everyone can let the family have there space on that day it is already hard enough for them let them have peace for one day at least

  28. I applaud WFSB for deciding to stay away from Newtown and letting those grieving have their Peace.

    For those, especially those in the State of Connecticut, who wish to see media coverage of the one-year anniversary of the tragedy… why not create your OWN event to grab the media’s attention that day. In the wake of all the sad news both local and around the globe, this is a season for shining some good in humanity.

    Why not do something positive in memory of the Sandy-Hook victims. Shine your light and call the media to witness it.

  29. Congratulations WFSB for taking this stand. I hope you will be one of many to follow your lead. Joan December 4, 2013

  30. The compassion and respect you have shown for all the people in Newtown is beyond words. Thank you also for the compassion and understanding of all your viewers that feel the same as you do. I respect your decision to not air the 911 calls and to leave Newtown in peace.
    Jill December 4 2013

  31. The news story is over!! Censorship has nothing to do with not wanting the media in Newtown. What story could a news station report now.? That people cry everyday, and their lives have been changed forever. Thank you Channel 3 for your kind, compassionate decision.

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