The Portland Press Herald missed the mark in its coverage of the July 10 City Council hearing concerning the proposal to build a 200-bed homeless shelter on the Barron Center campus.

Among the many people who spoke in opposition to this proposal were members of the homeless community and residents of Bayside, all of whom, arguably, stand to gain the most from it. Why weren’t any of them depicted or quoted?

And the young professionals with degrees in urban planning and public health, whose research and experience run counter to the city’s recommendation. Why weren’t their arguments included?

Or the denizens of Nason’s Corner, from Colonial Street to Sagamore Village, who said, over and over, that they would welcome a 30- to 50-bed homeless shelter in their neighborhood. Surely their solution-oriented approach deserved to be acknowledged as such and highlighted.

In the end, the story that the reporter, photographer and editor chose to tell was old and tired and not one that reflected the meeting I attended.

As Portland focuses on the difficult task of replacing the Oxford Street Shelter, it’s imperative that the city’s newspaper engage in responsible journalism that strives for nuance and depth rather than the easy sell.

Cathy Stankard

Portland


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