The recent Capital Gazette shooting that left five dead was definitely one that hit close to home for the Express.
Working at a newspaper, you would never expect something like this to ever happen. The tragedy was a targeted attack by an individual who had a long history of conflict with the Maryland paper.
The key word in the series of stories written about this is ‘community.’ Working at a newspaper is more about being just a journalist, it’s about having that real connection between the stories you tell and your community, and the victims of the deadly attack knew that. They were dedicated to doing their job, which meant covering stories of the community from crime to local sports events and more.
The news staff at a community paper is more than just staff, it resembles that of a family.
Those who were senselessly killed were going to work each day to do their jobs, to serve their community.
Newspaper journalists oftentimes feel they have a duty to their community. It’s not all about deadlines, having your byline tied to a specific story or covering fun events. Journalists go to work each day, reaching out to people of all walks of life to tell their stories, reaching out to the RCMP to report on crime or bad guys that are still on the loose or reaching out to those who have lost someone due to an accident, a murder, etc.
And that duty and determination for serving the community shined right through as the surviving colleagues were dedicated to continuing on, not letting the shooter stop their commitment to putting out a paper. Reporters put out a story reporting on the paper’s own tragedy, the loss of their colleagues.
Often times, and especially in the United States, journalists are often portrayed as the bad guys, and in the U.S., the shooting came at a time when some reporters felt an increasing amount of hostility. Journalists are constantly threatened with online threats and harassment, sometimes acting as punching bags for politicians or those who simply don’t want their misdoings published for the community to see. It also doesn’t help that President Donald Trump can’t stand the media.
Each and every day, journalists put out stories for the communities they serve and sometimes it’s not an easy task. With so much happening in the world, it can be hard to go to murder trials, watching these criminals stare at you straight in the eye as they wait for their sentences, or attending a major car accident, watching as families hold onto one another crying at the loss of their family member. It’s a tough job, but journalists do it all to serve their communities, to let people know what is happening around them and in a way giving remembrance to those who were lost.
Let us remember those of the Capital Gazette. Our condolences go out to all.