Globe coverage of Lowell stabbing death

I certainly don’t want to minimize the tragedy of yesterday’s fatal stabbing on Felker Street, but when I read the small piece in the print edition of today’s Globe, it seemed something was missing. Here it is, from, under the headline “Stabbings leave one dead, two injured.”

Three people were stabbed, one fatally, near Felker Street and Commonwealth Avenue around 10 a.m. yesterday, the Middlesex district attorney’s office said. Timothy Lewis, 34, of Chelmsford, died of his wounds. The other two victims were treated for injuries not believed to be life-threatening. Local and State Police are investigating. The district attorney’s office said the stabbings did not appear to be random. No arrests have been made, prosecutors said. No further information was immediately available.

If you read the piece carefully, you will find that the word “Lowell” is omitted entirely. That’s fine with me. I’ve frequently commented that regional reporting of Lowell criminal events severely undercuts our efforts to promote the city in a positive light. Too bad other media outlets won’t report the crime stories without identifying the place in which they occur. (Note: A companion story on is not shy about identifying our city – “One person dead, two others wounded in Lowell stabbing”)

5 Responses to Globe coverage of Lowell stabbing death

  1. Kad Barma says:

    Lowell trying to keep its name out of the paper related to stories like this reminds me of my company trying to hush up and thus ignore poor customer experiences. And all I can think is why???

    If we respect and honor the importance of violence by addressing it head on with head held high, just like listening to and learning from bad customer experiences with steadfast pride and faith in the company and the brand, we achieve something better than we ever could taking that ostrich stance.

    This happens in Lowell. Let’s be the kind of place that doesn’t pretend it doesn’t and thus dull the keen edge of our righteous refusal to accept it without doing something better about it.

    I’m proud of Lowell warts and all. Why are somany people ashamed? Because of episodes like this? Then work to change it! Ignoring it and hiding it are not good answers.

  2. DickH says:

    My attempt at irony was too nuanced, I guess. If it hadn’t involved a murder, the omission of the “where” from this simple news article would have been amusing.

    I agree that covering up the bad stuff is a strategy that does no good: that’s why I advocated showing street cams of downtown on the web and doing a Google maps mashup of photos of downtown’s appearance on the mornings after.

    But I also think that the efforts to put out info to the region on the good stuff too often follows a model that doesn’t work all that well. Hire an expensive consultant to come up with a slogan, run some newspaper ads and maybe get on Boston radio. Stuff like that is immediately neutralized by the next Boston TV live shot from in front of the police station.

    I think we’d get more bang from our advertising buck if we put up some of that money in the form of prizes of a not insubstantial amount for a contest producing videos that show why the producer likes Lowell. Talking about this a few years ago someone came up with a title for the contest – “My Lowell”. There’s a lot of imaginative, creative people in this city who just need a little incentive to produce some really interesting stuff that could go viral and spread the good word region-wide, all for a lot less than we’re now paying for promotional efforts.

  3. Joe S. says:

    The article is filed under “Lowell” in the news column, so it wasn’t entirely omitted.

  4. Christopher says:

    This omission is odd to say the least. I was taught that good journalism always answers the questions who, what, when, WHERE, how, and why.

  5. John Quealey says:

    In my day Mr. Felker had a farm on Commonwealth Ave which his ancestors had before him. He sold corn, tomatoes, squash and other vegetables around the neighborhood and into the grove. He also had hens and had an egg route. His eggs were different sizes in the box, some had double yolk eggs on occasion. He always told me the developers were after his land, but he would not sell it. He said after he was gone he knew it would be sold, and it was the land which is Felker St now. He used a knife as an neccesity to kill a chicken, he would pluck the feathrs clean it and throw it in a pot of boiling water with potatoes, onions and carrots and then simmer until tender, that would be a meal. The next day he would have cold chicken and more of his vegetables for dinner. There would be enough for the next day to make a chicken salad
    This was also a great meal in Ireland.
    Now you American’s have chicken fingers, chicken wings and buffalo chicken.