Journalists and the public alike have rallied to support the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, after a gunman killed five employees on June 28.
In a poignant editorial, the newspaper thanked the legions of people who have expressed sympathy and outrage over the deaths of Rob Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, Wendi Winters, John McNamara and Rebecca Smith. The newspaper also remembered its slain colleagues in profiles of the victims.
More than $185,000 has been raised through a GoFundMe campaign to help families of the victims and the newsroom. In addition, the newspaper’s parent company, Tronc, has created the Capital Gazette Families Fund for those who would like to make a tax-deductible donation.
In California, a column by investigative reporter Thomas Peele drew parallels to the 2007 killing of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey and journalists before him, including Don Bolles of the Arizona Republic. The 1976 car bomb killing of Bolles played a pivotal role in the early days of Investigative Reporters and Editors — chronicled in the online history of IRE.
The common lesson: Killing a journalist doesn’t kill a story.
For perspective, the Baltimore Sun detailed how attacks on journalists in the United States have been rare.
In Florida, Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry wrote about the impact of the tragedy, noting his friendship with colleague Carl Hiaasen, whose brother died in the attack. The Washington Post called the shooting an attack on journalism itself. NPR deemed the attack “a complete gut punch to journalists.” And Ledyard King, a former Capital Gazette reporter, wrote in USA TODAY that he met his wife at the newspaper — pointing out how journalists serve “on the front lines facing public anger.”