Jana Winter, a writer for Marie Claire magazine came down the dock yesterday wanting to talk about The Gloucester teen pregnancy story.
She asked me what I thought about the situation and I told her truthfully that I don’t know a single one of the girls or their names. Then I asked her a few leading questions.
The first question was how long she had been here in Gloucester. She answered 4 days.
Then I asked her if it was anything like she had imagined it to be from her research. She told me she just didn’t get it. She told me that she had read around 200 articles about Gloucester and the teen pregnancy story and every article started with adjectives like “down and out, depressed, dysfunctional” She has been nothing but blown away.
She kept saying over and over “I don’t get it, this place is incredible. I expected the worst. I don’t get it.”
Then I told her, “Well there is your story.”
The story isn’t about the 17 pregnant girls which isn’t out of line with the ratio of high school pregnancies around the country. The story is about the horrible job the media did repeating the same stereotypes of Gloucester as a hard luck town without actually spending a little time here.
I told her the story is how this is a town that cares about each other, a town that has incredible beaches, arts, dining, and community activities, a town where you know your neighbors.
The story is about how lazy reporters repeated the same copy from the same stories without coming here for themselves and seeing what a great place Gloucester is as opposed to the generic bedroom communities that are always touted as being such great places but don’t offer the soul one tenth of what Gloucester has to offer.
We will see how Jana writes her story. It will be in the October or November issue of Marie Claire, but unless she was just blowing smoke up my ass we should read about how the media was irresponsible in their lazy journalism.
We should read how fantastic a place Gloucester is. If the media that reported on the Gloucester would have spent just a little bit of time here like Jana, instead of rehashing stereotypes from behind a keyboard in Plaineville USA they would have got the right story instead of regurgitated misrepresentations.