Apparently, most of Portland’s news stations think only Black Friday and rote Thanksgiving stories are worthy of coverage this week. God forbid that they should cover something truly worthy. And what the Portland gamers group, PDXLAN, did this past weekend is worthy of coverage.
Gamers collect 37,500 pounds of food for the homeless.
The gamers group hold parties once or twice a year to play games together on their laptops. These gaming parties can last for days and draw gamers from all over the country. The last time they met, they issued a challenge for their members to bring food to the next meet-up. When they met again the weekend before Thanksgiving, that challenge was met. Big time. About 500 gamers showed up for the event and brought a lot of food: over 37,500 pounds.
The group has held fundraisers before. To date, they have raised over $100,000 for groups such as the American Red Cross, Smile Train and Child’s Play. They started holding food drives seven years ago. They’ve done a respectable job before but this one broke records. That 37,000+ pounds of food was collected in just under 48 hours. Pretty respectable, indeed.
Matt Conwell, the group’s spokesman, told the sole reporter who covered the event:
“As a community we really want to give back. We want to show that gamers are good people who do good things.” He went on to say that the food will go to Union Gospel Mission, a Northwest charity that helps the homeless. “It was very heartwarming to see that we made a meaningful impact.”
This is the perfect, feel-good story for local news so… WHY didn’t they cover it?
As someone who has been peripherally involved in local television (my husband works for a PBS station) for over 30 years, I am flabbergasted that this was ignored by all but one local station. Not even Northwest Cable News, which covers Seattle to Portland to Spokane, had even a paragraph on their website. And NWCN has a section called Generation Gamer! Which has lots of info about the new PS4 but nothing about the PDXLAN group’s generosity.
This sort of story is the bread and butter of local news. Especially for a large market like Portland. Local news, ideally, should begin their news gathering in their area, widening their scope as they go. If I were the news director of those other Portland stations, I’d be angry that this perfect local story was ignored.
Thankfully, the online news community isn’t so snobbish. Well done, PDXLAN. You have shown that gamers are not the slack-jawed, glazed-eyed droolers so many people think you are. It’s a pity your local news couldn’t get past that image and give you your due. But here at Addicting Info, we’d like to thank you.
Here’s the video from KGW.Com’s Live At 7, the only local news outlet that covered the event: