re: The Catskills. (Or: What I Mean When I Talk About Undercovered Issues in Undercovered Areas.)

Old Black River Produce

The catchphrase at Stry last year was simple: Stry covers undercovered issues in undercovered areas. And any time I mentioned that line, I brought up another.

It’s from a conversation I had with a local when I was down in Biloxi last year, covering the aftermath of Katrina. We were talking about local issues, and she said:

“It’s five years after Katrina, Dan. We’ve still got problems. Why isn’t anyone talking to us about what we’re going through?”

Then came the pause, of course. There is always a pause.

“Is it because we’re from the South?”

And I told her: No. This is the kind of story that gets ignored everywhere. If it happened in Maine or Montana, it’d get forgotten, too, just like Katrina.

I bring that up because just now, I went walking through the lobby here at the Missouri School of Journalism. CNN was on one of the TVs. The governor of the state of Vermont was speaking. And the caption at the bottom of the screen read: “Vermont sees worst flooding since 1927.”

Now, I’d read about the flooding the day before. A lone paper up in the Catskills was trying to cover it. The big papers were completely silent. CNN, to their great credit, did get a reporter up on the scene.

But now it’s 24+ hours since the flooding began — and we’re talking about massive, historic flooding happening just hours from the biggest media market in the galaxy — and the coverage is just beginning to come in.

When I’m talking about undercovered issues in undercovered areas, the Catskills don’t always come to mind. But they’re exactly the kind of place I’m thinking of.

They’re exactly the kind of place I want Stry to cover.

photo at top of flooding in Proctorsville, Vt., via Flickr

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