SHAMOKIN—The city of Shamokin in Northumberland County is thousands of miles from Great Britain, but an article about the Pennsylvania city recently ran in a British newspaper and other several other newspapers, too.
That article was written by a reporter for Reuters news agency about the financial crisis in Shamokin. It is a city with hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid debts, too broke to get a loan from a bank.
“I think Shamokin is a pretty nice town, most people are pretty nice,” said Destiny Jones of Shamokin.
“I like coming to Shamokin because they have a lot here, it’s just you know, struggling,” said Vicki Reichner of Sunbury.
That story ran with several photographs of people in the community. Some claimed those pictures were unflattering and unfair.
They called it an ‘embarrassment’ to Shamokin.
“I don’t really like the article and pictures but you know. It’s the way people have their opinions,” said Cindia Ruiz of Shamokin.
A Reuters spokesperson said, “We stand behind these photos and our news gathering approach. “
Jessica Kruleski was among the people photographed.
She said she had no idea it was for a story about the problems in her city.
“There’s nothing wrong about Shamokin. I like it, so far. My son is 5-years-old and he’s going to school next year and everyone gave me a good report that Shamokin is a good place to go to school,” said Kruleski.
Not everyone in Shamokin had a problem with their story. Some people said it was spot on.
Wayne Derk was also photographed for the article. He owns a business in Shamokin and said it is sad but true, everything in the story is accurate.
“I’m sorry I ever came back to Shamokin. I lived in Florida 22 years. I could kick my rear end for ever coming back to this place,” he said.
Others said they love this place, but admit there are problems here.
“You can look around and tell, the run down buildings, the streets, I mean, you know? Stuff is rough here. Everybody wants to take pride in where they live,” said William Byrd of Shamokin.