PRESS RELEASE: Indivisible Gainesville Engages Community and Promotes Peaceful Town Hall Message
Indivisible Gainesville Counters the Independent Alligator’s Focus on Violence.
On April 4th, the Independent Alligator published an article about the upcoming town hall with Representative Ted Yoho. Indivisible Gainesville found ourselves shocked and disappointed at the coverage. Not only was the article filled with errors—including the incorrect date for the previous town hall—but also it was inflammatory.
The goal of Indivisible Gainesville is to increase engagement of constituents with their elected officials. However, the Alligator—the only media outlet to cover the upcoming event—just made this goal more difficult to accomplish. Rather than focus on the promise of a dialogue between the very conservative congressman and his progressive constituents in Gainesville, the article instead perpetuated a baseless narrative of violence that will only serve to keep those more vulnerable out of the conversation.
The article could have focused on how the upcoming town hall at Lincoln Middle School holds the potential for the voices of more residents to be heard. How questions will come directly from the audience at the microphone—no filter. And how the venue is larger than the previous one (twice the capacity), handicapped accessible (e.g. designated parking and ramps), and can be reached via public transportation.
While we understand that an exciting headline is necessary to gain readers, the Alligator must use journalistic integrity. In this age of politics, the mere fact that a member of the Freedom Caucus will happily meet his more liberal constituents is news. No need to add extra drama to it.