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Newtown Official Thanks Media For How It Covered The Sandy Hook Shooting Anniversary

The town's top official, First Selectman Pat Llodra, sent a letter to members of the media Tuesday thanking them for their "respectful professionalism" leading up to and on the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook school massacre.

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Pat Llodra, first selectman in Newtown, Conn., who made critical remarks about reporters swarming her town in the days leading up to the one year anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school, wrote a letter Tuesday thanking the media for how the story was ultimately covered.

"I want to thank you for your respectful professionalism during a difficult time in our history, for maintaining the smallest footprint possible in Newtown, and respecting our need for privacy," Llodra writes.

She goes on to acknowledge that her requests for privacy leading up to the Dec. 14, 2013 anniversary were "highly unusual" and perhaps difficult to manage for the press trying to cover the story.

A month prior to the shooting anniversary, Llodra wrote on her blog that media coverage was having a "deleterious affect" on the town's healing. In a press conference held the Monday before the anniversary, Llodra formally requested that media not stake out Newtown on Dec. 14 — a request most media would oblige.

Despite her feelings on the persistent coverage, Llodra granted a number of interviews leading up to Dec. 14, including an extensive one with BuzzFeed in which she outlined the process for demolishing and rebuilding Sandy Hook school.

Michael Hayes is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Mike Hayes at

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