Rapp News’ coverage of annual MLK event was inadequate
On Sunday, Jan. 16 the 31st Annual Rappahannock County’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Observance was held, virtually via cooperation from the Culpeper Media Network, Jon Krawchuk, Station Manager, the Little Washington Theatre, Nancy Raines, Proprietor, and the Scrabble School Preservation Foundation, Inc. (where the Julia E. Boddie Scholarship Fund is now housed). For the past 31 years, this program has been held to raise scholarship dollars (thousands of dollars and many, many students have been recipients!) in Rappahannock county. This year was no exception. All monies raised stay in the county to support deserving students beyond high school.
Congratulations to Ms. Lillian Aylor on being presented the DreamKeeper Award for 2022 during the online event. Lillian is a true citizen of Rappahannock County in every way. Everyone knows her commitment and dedication in all that she is and does for her community. As the song goes, “nobody does it better!” She is an Icon and deserves her kudos now to enjoy.
Thank you to the Rappahannock News for the article in the January 20, 2022 edition about Lillian’s award and the MLK event. However, as president of SSPF, along with our Board members, we think the emphasis on Lillian as the recipient of the award and the information about the program was incomplete and lacked balance.
The small, fuzzy photo of Lillian at the bottom of the front page (a clearer photo had been provided with the press release) was disappointing to see. Then, the article stated that the program “featuring Black musicians and speakers” from the region; this just doesn’t adequately describe the diversity of the program participants. King may have been the “drum major for peace” but he had followers of every race, color, religion and socioeconomic background alongside him. Our message is the same today. During John McCaslin’s time as editor of the Rappahannock News, he ensured that the MLK event was announced well in advance and then provided a news article that was thorough and provided a complete recap. SSPF thinks the Jan. 20, 2022 Rappahannock News article fell far below just a basic standard for good coverage of this community event that also honored our own county legend, Lillian Aylor.
We thank everyone for their participation this year, especially the diverse group of participants and staff for sharing their time and talent to make the program a success. We look forward to hopefully seeing everyone in person in 2023! BTW, the 2022 MLK Event is still available for viewing at Culpeper Media Network’s website, www.culpepermedia.org. Check it out!