A week after a gunman opened fire at a newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland, we continue to mourn the five lives lost.
The American Society of News Editors asked newsrooms across the globe to observe a moment of silence today, July 5, at 1:33 p.m. to honor those who were killed at the Capital Gazette:
• Gerald Fischman, 61, editorial page editor;
• Rob Hiaasen, 59, assistant editor and columnist;
• John McNamara, 56, sports writer;
• Rebecca Smith, 34, sales assistant; and
• Wendi Winters, 65, community correspondent in charge of special publications.
Wherever you are, as newspaper readers and supporters, please join us in contemplation, prayer, reflection or meditation with your own moment of silence.
Our hearts go out to the slain and the survivors, and their families.
When tragic news breaks, we are reminded how easily we as individuals could have been at the epicenter. And yet when devastation hits home, we also find ourselves in a state of shock because despite knowing that bad things can happen, we still don’t expect them to.
The news of the attack at the Capital Gazette last Thursday, June 28, hit us hard in the Courier-Tribune newspaper offices. As veteran newsman Dan Rather said in a Facebook post the next day, the shootings were “a sober reminder that a free press is not free from danger and intimidation.”
In the face of this, we have seen incredible resiliency and dedication from our fellow journalists. The Capital Gazette published a new edition right on schedule the day after the shooting.
It makes us proud to be part of this profession.
“You feel a deep connection to your fellow reporters because you recognize that they are also part of an endeavor much bigger than any one of us,” Rather continued in his social media post. “We seek to inform, to ferret out the truth, to hold the powerful accountable, and to bear witness. And sometimes that noble pursuit can come at great cost. But reporters tend to persist.”
Thank you, Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters, for all you brought to journalism and the world.