The staff of the Capital Gazette vowed, hours after a shooting in their newsroom, that they would be “putting out a damn paper tomorrow” — and put out a paper they did.
The Maryland newspaper released a morning edition of its paper just a day after a shooter broke into the Annapolis newsroom, killing four journalists and one other staff member, and injuring two other people. The staff worked from a parking lot in a garage adjacent to the building to ensure that the paper was released on time.
The Capital Gazette published tributes to Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith, and Wendi Winters, the five slain staffers, with reporters at the Baltimore Sun helping to honor the victims.
They wrote about Hiaasen’s generosity and mentorship, Fischman’s “clever and quirky voice,” McNamara’s finding his “dream job,” Winters’s “prolific” career and Smith’s kindness and consideration for the world.
The publication also left its editorial page mostly blank, aside from a small bit of text beginning “Today, we are speechless.”
Tomorrow this Capital page will return to its steady purpose of offering readers informed opinion about the world around them. But today, we are speechless. pic.twitter.com/5HzKN2IW7Q— Capital Gazette (@capgaznews) June 29, 2018
“This page is intentionally left blank today to commemorate victims of Thursday’s shooting at our office,” the Capital Gazette continued, in lieu of a opinion piece. “Tomorrow this page will return to its steady purpose of offering our readers informed opinion about the world around them, that they might be better citizens.”
Other newspapers around the country also paid tribute to the the Capital Gazette.
The Miami Herald, where Rob Hiaasen’s brother Carl is a columnist, spoke about the differences between other mass shootings and this one, targeted at journalists.
“The nation has seen this before and, infuriatingly, will again,” the Miami Herald wrote. “And again we will ask, How did the shooter get the gun? Was he mentally ill? What, exactly, was his motive? We all know the drill.”
The Herald continued, “But here’s what’s different. Hatred for the media, the most responsible of which tell uncomfortable truths, and question authority. But journalists are excoriated as enemies of the people — to use President Trump’s hateful words.”